Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trouble on Tuesday

These pictures were taken a few weeks ago. I am obeying Mom and heading back to the deck, since I know I was not supposed to escape. However the urge is great. My friends know all about the Funhouse, and other efforts to keep me contained, and they are having some success. However today I am going to the V-E-T for my checkup, and Mom is going to ask them to give me a microchip as well as my shots. She would feel just a little bit better in case I ever do wander away from home.

I have no idea what is in store for me this afternoon. Just getting me to get into my PTU is going to be an adventure. Mom says I will most likely talk all the way there. But even though I will be nervous, I will purr for the vet. Because I am like that.

How many of you have a microchip capsule in your neck?

Monday, August 30, 2010

At the Butterfly House

As I mentioned last week, my Mom was able to visit the Butterfly House during her visit to St Louis. The butterflies are in the large glass conservatory, which is a warm, tropical environment, with lots of plants, and pathwaya where you walk right in among the butterflies. They also had some other exhibits, and a short movie about the butterfly life cycle and how important butterflies are to all life on earth, because they are responsible for pollinating lots of plants.

My Mom knew she would be disappointed about not getting a lot of good pictures from the Butterfly House, because most of the time the butterflies were flying, and not settling on the plants. However she did get some closeup pictures of a couple of butterflies.

She believes this first one is a Blue Morpho. There were a lot of them there, but when they settled, only the underside of their wings showed, and instead of the brilliant blue-turquoise color, you got to see the camouflage side:

She hasn't been able to work out the name of this gorgeous one, but she thought it was truly beautiful. Do any of you know what it is? The plant it was on had orange pom-pom flowers dangling from it, so even with this bright coloring, I guess it was still camouflaged.

From the Butterfly Directory for the Butterfly House, we find that this one is a Scarlet Mormon, from Southeast Asia.

And this picture comes from their website too, showing you what the top of the Blue Morpho looks like. They come from Central and South America.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Introducing ....... The Black Swallowtail

When the butterflies reached the stage of emerging from the chrysalis, Dad put the terrarium inside my Funhouse, which became a temporary butterfly house. For the first butterfly, this happened in the garage, because it was wet and rainy outside. By the time the second one was ready, the weather was better and Dad did it outside:

It took a long time from the time the butterfly emerged from the chrysalis until it was ready to fly: apparently they pump blood into their wings to fill them out, and then the wings have to harden some before the butterfly is ready for flying. So #2 spent time clinging to the parlsey and to the twigs in the terrarium. Dad had the flap to the funhouse open so he could leave when he was ready.

Most of the pictures show the underside of the wings better than the top side. For these butterflies, it seems the underside is more colorful than the top. But it is the pattern of yellow vs blue on the top side that indicates whether the black swallowtail is male or female. We believe this guy is male because there is more yellow than blue on the top side of the wings. Though this last photo is a little out of focus, it is the best one Dad got showing the pattern on the back (top) of the wings.

Mom is home now, which makes me feel better - I like to have all my family together. Also she doles out more food for me! I plan to reclaim my Funhouse tomorrow and spend the day like this:

I also hope to get to all my friends' blogs to comment, since I haven't been able to do that as much as I would like this past week.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Visit to the Butterfly House

My Mom has been on a trip to St Louis, Missouri, and I have learned that today she visited the Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Mo. She saw hundred of live butterflies in the Conservatory there. It was especially great to be able to visit it, because she missed seeing our butterflies at home. When she gets home and can look at her pictures, she hopes to have some to show, though apparently taking still pictures was not too successful, because most of the flutterbys were in flight most of the time.

If you ever get a chance to go, she really recommends it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Both butterflies have "hatched" and one has flown free. This is how my Dad described the first one to my Mom in an email (she is on a short trip):

"Our beautiful butterfly found her way out of Simba's funhouse immediately when it was opened at 12:50 on a sunny afternoon. She soared on a light breeze above the deck with just a few flutters of her wings and remained in sight for only a moment or two.."

The second one emerged during the afternoon and was able to fly away in the evening.
Correction: it spent the night in the funhouse with the flap open, clinging to its twig. Dad left the funhouse open for it to fly away when things got a bit warmer.

Dad has taken some video and some pictures, but Mom is the one who does my blogging work for me and knows how to upload pictures and stuff. So we will be hoping to post something for you to see on Sunday.


The first butterfly has "hatched" this morning - hopefully pictures to follow but my usual photographer is not at home, so we shall see. Exciting, though, because today is exactly 11 days since the first caterpillar started turning into its chrysalis!

It wasn't flying yet, just kind of moving and hopping - wings need to dry out. For today it is in my "funhouse", along with its brother/sister chrysalis in the terrarium- probably to be released to fly away this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Dozing on Tuesday

Not actually a new picture of me, but appropriate to what I am doing. Have a great day everybody.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chillin' on Sunday

Truthfully it is raining today so my towel is rather soggy, as is my Funhouse. But I will be chillin' inside.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Before my human brother's wedding, my folks spent a little time in the Smoky Mountains. They didn't go on this trail, though!
They can tell you a story about a shelter and a bear from an overnight hiking trip in the Smokies a squillion years ago, ........... if you are willing to believe them.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Funhouse Update

The funhouse is working out okay. When it is zippered open I go in there by myself, because my table and towel are in there. They are in the same corner of the deck as before, so it is almost as if there is no funhouse there. Usually they zip it up, but it is open here so you can see my furry face better. Mom and dad don't leave me all alone in it, but it means they can turn their back on me and use the laptop, or water plants, or fill hummingbird feeders, without me taking advantage and hopping over the netting that blocks the stairs while they are not looking my way. I still think they may make me something larger and more substantial some time. Mom envisages an entire section of the deck cordoned off for me only. I don't think dad has quite so large a structure planned! (it is MY deck after al, isn't it?)

Speaking of hummingbirds, we finally have a regular visitor to our feeders**, which has made Dad so happy. Mom too, but Dad is especially delighted by watching the little hummers.

Have a good, restful weekend, furries and humans.

**Breaking update: at least two female hummingbirds are visiting the feeders because Mom just saw two at the same time!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Versatile Blogger

Raymond and Busy have given me this award, the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much, Raymond and Busby.

I am supposed to tell you 7 things about myself. I thought it was very interesting that Raymond and Busby told 7 things about their Moms, so I am going to tell you 7 things about the cats that have been in my family. Really, it is more than 7, but I have organized them into 7 items.

1. Mom and Dad have had a total of 5 cats, with me being #5.

2. Their first kitty, Smudgie, was white with a small black smudge on his head. He was a Manx cat with a short tail and long back legs.

3. When they got Smudge, they had only been married about 6 months and their apartment complex had a “No Pets” rule. The neighbors under them heard the kitty running on the wooden floors and reported them to the management. They had to have Smudge go and live with Mom’s parents for a while.

4. The next apartment they had, they made sure cats were allowed. Smudge used to go for walks with Dad around the garden apartment complex, without a leash or harness. Dad would just snap his fingers for him to follow. Smudge lived with them in both apartments and both houses they have lived in.

5. Of the 5 cats, three have been male and two female. The first female was Kimi, an Abyssinian. Kimi had one accidental litter of kittens, when she got out of the house by mistake. (Mom says she was gone for 2 days but returned with a smile on her face). They were awful cute. After that she was spayed. The kittens were born when my human sister was a baby and she loved to watch them. The kittens all got forever homes as Christmas presents when they were 8 weeks old.

6. It was only after both Smudge and Kimi had lived their lives and died that they got another kitten. Belle was white and grey stripey, and small. After a few years they added kitten Rusty, who was ginger like me, but not floofy like me. He was born in a bodega in Bridgeport, Connecticut and my Dad drove all the way by himself on a snowy February day in 1993 to choose him and pick him up.

7. I am the only cat my folks got as an adult, rather than as a kitten. My first Mom was getting a divorce and moving in with relatives who had a child who was allergic to cats. Somebody who knew her sent out an email at Mom’s work, asking for somebody to give me a home. My first Mom cried when she had to give me up. I was about 1 ½ years old, and am now 8 ½. I don’t know my real birthday so my folks decided it was January 1st, 2002. It was me and Rusty together for several years, now just me.

Since quite a lot of cats have already received this award, I am just going to say that you are ALL versatile bloggers, and so please, anybody who has not yet had it. please go ahead and tell us 7 things about yourself or your family.

Feline Not-so-Funhouse: Wordy Wednesday

I have taken to escaping from the deck with such regularity that Mom decided I needed some sort of enclosure. She and Dad discussed him building one with pvc pipe and connectors and plastic netting and they even went to Home Depot to check out supplies for it, but HD didn't have all the right types of connectors that would be needed. Although that project is not completely dead, in the meantime, Mom ordered a Feline Funhouse for me from amazon.com. I am quite happy to go in it, by myself, and they even have put my table canopy and (of course) a towel in there for my comfort.

But I don't like it when they close the zippered flap and I get left by myself in it for a while. So we will have to see how much of a success it is going to be.

I was thinking maybe it would make a good butterfly enclosure for when those chrysalis things emerge as butterflies. This is how they looked yesterday morning: darker and a lot more woody. Audrey's comment on my last post was probably spot-on: crispy with a creamy center.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Mom went to take a look at the caterpillars at about 8 AM this morning and this is what she saw:The caterpillar known as #1 had changed overnight to a light green pupa/chrysalis (lower center), whereas #2 was still a caterpillar (upper right), although #2 had a distinct curved shape on its twig. Mom decided to come back a little later and try to get photos of #2 in the process of changing. Well, by the time she returned about 2 hours later she saw she was almost too late: #1 looked like this (darker):
and #2 looked like this:
She took lots more pictures as the day went by, but of course today would be the day when it was very cloudy out, and not too good for natural light photos. Anyway, this evening, both of them are brownish, look like the twigs they are attached to - #1 has the following appearance:

So we don't expect much more to happen over the next 10-12 days, and don't even know if these two are planning to stay dormant all winter, or will be emerging as butterflies in about 12-15 days' time. But we will be sure to let you know!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Caterpillar Update

So Mom and Dad decided to let the caterpillars continue to eat the parsley as long as they wanted. This was an easy decision because they knew it would not be much longer. Yesterday afternoon one of them disappeared (later to be found to have gone all the way under the deck to the foundation of the house where it was preparing to turn into a chrysalis), and they watched as the other one cleverly swung its way onto the deck via a strand of dill - walking along it until the weight of the caterpillar caused the dill to bend down to the deck boards.

Dad set up a little environment for them within a terrarium, complete with a transplanted parsley, and a bunch of twigs. They are not eating and have settled into a spot on a twig each, and are starting to attach themselves to the twigs with some fine strands of silky stuff (see the lower one in this picture - it looks like a string around its neck).

From what Mom has read, it will be about 3 weeks till the butterfly stage, OR maybe they will become dormant and go all the way till next spring. They will take some pictures and keep you posted.

Dad has been calling one of the caterpillars "him" and the other "her": it will be interesting to see the colors to the butterflies to see whether he is right.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Photo Hunt - Orange

I guess I could post any picture of myself for the theme "orange", or some of our ripening cherry tomatoes. Sometimes when Mom or Dad take a picture of me inside, the color of my furs is especially orange. So I chose this picture for today's Photo Hunt theme.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gardening Supplement - Sharing of the Parsley

I just had to show you a couple of pictures of the critters that are quietly consuming our parsley - we got to see them out yesterday for the first time because it was cooler, cloudy and a bit rainy. I think they are a special parsley caterpillar.

Mom doesn't know what to do: she doesn't want all her parsley gone, but they are quite cute. What is your opinion: ded them, or let them be? She doesn't use much parsley. And she thinks they will turn into Black Swallowtail butterflies (picture from Wikipedia).

I think I know what she will do.

Update: Mom did a little Googleresearch and it seems by their color that these guys are close to turning into pupae so won't be eating much longer, so they definitely get to stay.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday in the Garden with Simba

Lots of hot weather and good watering and fertilizer from Dad means that we have giant cherry tomato plants and Mom and Dad have already eaten quite a few cherry tomatoes, although the yield of them compared to the size of the plant is rather mingy. The clusters of little cherry tomatoes are pretty cute, though!

The basil is going great guns too - like Cory, I think I better get onto Mom to make a big batch of pesto (though it gives her indigestion to eat basil in such large quantities). I am explaining to the plant here that it is about to lose a lot of leaves:

Gardening is lots of work, and in this heat, a guy needs to rest and nap a lot.

But in the end, it is time to let them know I need to go inside, where the air conditioning is comfortable, and where I can drop hints for another refill of my food bowl. Happy Gardening All!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rumbles for New Zealand Top Cat Model

We're down to the wire, folks! As many of you know, Rumblepurr is one of the ten finalists in the New Zealand Top Cat Model contest. As of Sunday, he was the cat who had raised the most for animal charities. Along with two other cats from Wellington, Darwin and Omar, he was featured in the Newspaper, the Dominion Post!

We hope that got him some needed publicity, because some of the other contestants had been featured on television and in the paper, and after that they got quite a lot more votes.

Rumbles was #1 in terms of votes on August 2nd:

but then after the publicity for some of the other cats, he slipped to #3.

Now the voting results are not being publicized during the final week of voting so we have no way of knowing how he is doing. If you want to follow the Facebook page about the competition, you can do so here . You don't have to be on Facebook to do so.

Rumbles and his brother Inigo have been two of my good friends since shortly after I started blogging 11 months ago. I am sure all the kitties in the contest are deserving in different ways, but I am supporting Rumbles and I really want him to win. He is the only one of the kitties in the contest who is a regular blogger in "our circle", and he and his Mum have such good hearts, always leave the sweetest comments for everybody and think of others before themselves. It is, after all, in order to raise funds for the New Zealand SPCA and the Wellington Cat Protection League that Rumbles entered the competition in the first place. His Mum has been baking and having bake sales at her work to help to raise some of the donations. They are so nice about the other kitties in the competition and did a super blog post about Sooty, who is now one of Rumbles' main competitors for the top spot!

So what can we do to help Rumbles in his quest to become Top Cat Model? I know many of you have voted and voted with all your email addresses, but I bet you may have another email address somewhere. For example, my Mom's email account is with mac.com, and for that account she is allowed a bunch of aliases (5, I think) and also every address can be either mac.com or me.com at the end. She also remembered she has a yahoo ID, which means a yahoo email address, even though she never reads it. Same with Dad! And my human sister and brother have a couple of email addresses also so we are going to ask them to help give Rumbles a final push over the top. YOU CAN VOTE ONCE WITH EVERY VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. It is not required to make a donation to vote, but if you wish to do so, that would be lovely. I know that many of you have done so already. But if you can get your thinking caps on, kitties, I bet we can get Rumbles some more votes. VOTING ENDS AUGUST 12TH AND REMEMBER, NEW ZEALAND IS ABOUT A DAY AHEAD OF THE USA so we msut do it before the 11th!!!!! So do it now! HERE is where you go to vote, or click on the Rumbles Button on my sidebar.

Daisy did a lovely blog post for Rumbles yesterday. Dash Kitten has also been working hard to post about Rumbles on his blog. Whiskr and his Mum have donated a beautiful pendant she made, for Rumbles to award as a prize for one of the cats/people who votes for him.

Isn't it amazing?

Rumbles, Mom and I hope you do become the next New Zealand Top Cat Model, but even if you don't, in our eyes you and Inigo will always be Top Cats.

World Cat Day

Today is World Cat Day. I think that means all cats ought to be treated like royalty and get to do what they want to do. Anyway, Happy World Cat Day to all my cat and kitten friends, as well as their humans.

So this is how I hope to spend the day:

I have a royal canopy (plastic table) and a royal mat (old frayed towel) so I am happy.