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8:48 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

There is something about the presence of a cat… that seems to take the bite out of being alone. ~Louis J. Camuti



What are we going to do this year to improve the lives of the felines, large and small, that occupy our lives and thoughts? With all the turmoil in the big world involving myself with not only my brood but the strays and ferals that inhabit my little world, and the big cats as well, is a great stress reliever. Ofttimes there’s little we can actually do as far as hands-on activities go but there are folks and organizations we can support in whichever way we can that do those things that make life better for our feline friends.

The weather changed radically this week, from freezing my butt off on Wednesday to wearing a t-shirt on Friday. The tigers have noticed as well. They’re off their feed like I’ve never seen before. Every one of ‘em. If any of them eat half of their meal I’m surprised. Max, George and Sweetie Pie from next door have been eating very well with the canned food leftovers.

I don’t have much to share this week. One thing I’d like others to do is provide links to organizations, local or national, that assist our four-legged friends. Here are four that I like:

Urban Cat League of New York

Alley Cat Allies

Big Cat Rescue

Animal Rescue Site


The great Tao is universal like a flood.
How can it be turned to the right or to the left?

All creatures depend on it,
And it denies nothing to anyone.

It does its work,
But it makes no claims for itself.

It clothes and feeds all,
But it does not lord it over them:
Thus, it may be called “the Little.”

All things return to it as to their home,
But it does not lord it over them:
Thus, it may be called “the Great.”

It is just because it does not wish to be great
That its greatness is fully realized.

Tao Te Ching, 34, Lao Tzu

Cantognake – Love…To place and hold in one’s heart

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A cat can be trusted to purr when she is pleased, which is more than can be said for human beings. ~William Ralph Inge


9:14 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon


Merry Christmas. I slept in yesterday morning and when I got up it was like the tigers had turned into small children. Racing around like Santa had shown up and sprinkled ‘em with magic dust. After breakfast they looked like the magic dust had worn off and they were crapped out all over the place. Whew

By now everybody knows I have a fondness for ferals and tigers nobody else wants. Tejanarusa has a 20 year old feral female that she cares for. Itsa is a rare find. Unfortunately the life span of the vast majority of ferals is less than 5 years. Itsa has lived to this ripe old age because Tejana and a lady before her cared enough to ensure Itsa was properly fed. Itsa’s also very lucky that she’s not been seriously injured in all that time. So, on this Christmas Itsa is my choice for tiger of the year.

Yep, she’s a Stubby Tail Manx.


My plan this week was to link to videos showing kittehs in Christmas trees. While there are a number of them on YouTube I really didn’t think they were all that hot. What I decided on was videos from Big Cat Rescue in Tampa from the past few years. Enjoy.

Big Cat Christmas 2007

Big Cat Christmas 2008

Big Cat Christmas 2009

Big Cat Christmas 2010

Earlier this month Big Cat Rescue held a cutest big cat contest. The contest is over, wish I’d seen this earlier, but the cats are still cute.

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8:26 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

There’s no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat. ~Wesley Bates


I had put new tires on the front of the truck and replaced the burned out turn signal and tail/brake bulbs on the left side (everything turns to crap at the same time) and was sitting at the table reading. It was around 3 o’clock and the sun was beginning to peek into the windows on the west side. The tigers did a reverse vampire, coming out of whatever spot they had chosen to sleep the day away and following the sun as it passed through the place. Couple on the couch sunning themselves and others rotating on the sill of the dining room window. I managed to get one pic before the batteries said no more.


Other than the weather becoming cooler and the tigers lovin’ it and being frisky most of the time, I got nothing. You guys are gonna have to provide the narrative this week.



There was Something undefined and yet complete in itself,
Born before Heave-and-Earth.

Silent and boundless.
Standing alone without change,
Yet pervading all without fail,
It may be regarded as the Mother of the world.
I do not know its name,
I style it "Tao";
And, in the absence of a better world, call it "The Great."

To be great is to go on,
To go on is to be far,
To be far is to return.

Hence, "Tao is great,
Heaven in great,
Earth is great,
King is great."
Thus, the king is one of the great four in the Universe.

Man follows the ways of the Earth,
The Earth follows the ways of Heaven,
Haven follows the way of Tao,
Tao follows its own ways.

Tao Te Ching, 25, Lao Tzu

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A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather. ~Judith Merkle Riley


9:02 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

To bathe a cat takes brute force, perseverance, courage of conviction – and a cat. The last ingredient is usually hardest to come by. ~Stephen Baker


After the tigers had been fed last evening Ptah is doing figure-8s around my legs so I squat down and start to pet him. After a couple minutes Gabby goes over to his spot in front of the speaker and sits down. Ptah sees him and ditches me to go snuggle with Gabby. Sheesh.


A couple weeks ago I heard a story about a clinical study to test the effectiveness of Glucosamine Hydrochloride in the treatment of arthritis in two leggeds. The study found that glucosamine was no more effective than the placebo given to half of the subjects. I don’t know about the two leggeds but there was a noticeable improvement in Min’s condition using ArthriMaxx and the improvement seen in Kismet is even more noticeable with Dasuquin. Both meds have glucosamine hydrochloride as the active ingredient with Dasuquin definitely the most effective. Speaking of Kismet she’s been over 8 pounds for 2 weeks now. Lookin’ good and her vocalizations will wake the dead. She’s feelin’ gooooood.

I posted this at the end of last week’s Caturday but figured not many would see it.

It’s really cooling down and after I fed them this evening I was treated to multiple examples of the crazies. Cats chasin’ each other all over the place. The space between the fan and the wall is about 30″, prolly less. Usually, one will be sitting between the fan and the wall, preventing whoever is in the kitchen from getting out. Sitting at the table I can’t see who that is. I took the pic standing. Solution: jump over fan. Seen it a thousand times. They leap onto the fan, spring off and the fan goes ass over tea kettle. This cheap ass fan is close to 10 years old and should have died long ago. The feet are broken off and the handle is held together with, say it with me, duct tape. Anyhoo, I’ve picked the fan up a couple times tonight already. I see Feurae in the kitchen and by the way he’s acting there’s a player in the fan/wall opening. Feurae is near the water bowl, about 3+ feet from the fan. He leaps, lands on top of the fan and springs off. The fan doesn’t even shimmy. Now that’s a light touch and he’s a big boy.

The evening crazies are fun to watch. Nothing is safe from these guys. The sweater that Toes likes so much lasts about 10 minutes before it ends up on the floor.

Link time. I found a number of them this week that are pure eye candy.

Daseep the baby tiger.

Kittens on a Roomba.

Tiger triplets at the Bronz Zoo.

Ever tickled a skunk? (h/t to Eli)

Wallpaper While the two baby white tigers are just drop dead adorable the pic before it (click Prev) is now my wallpaper. Too cool.

One on tip-toe cannot stand.
One astride cannot walk.
One who displays himself does not shine.
One who justifies himself has no glory.
One who boasts of his ability has no merit.
One who parades his own success will not endure.
In Tao these things are called "unwanted food and extraneous growths,"
Which are loathed by all things.
Hence, a man of Tao does not set his heart upon them.

Tao Te Ching, 24, Lao Tzu

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Cats are the ultimate narcissists. You can tell this because of all the time they spend on personal grooming. Dogs aren’t like this. A dog’s idea of personal grooming is to roll on a dead fish. ~James Gorman


8:32 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

An ordinary kitten will ask more questions than any five year old. ~Carl Van Vechten


Holy moly. The weather’s cooling down, the windows stay open 24/7 and somebody put uppers in the spring water the tigers drink. The only thing I haven’t seen, yet, is one of ‘em running up and along the walls. Feurae and Nagi managed to turn (flip would prolly be a better word) the water bowl over on themselves in the middle of a chase ‘n tumble.


The tigers are frisky and there’s not a lot of dry food to pick up in the mornings or evenings. Their fur is gonna fill out and they’re gonna be a real pain at bedtime. Went to climb into my tree last night and there were already 4 on the waterbed. Nagi’s the smart one, he’s already staked out the spare pillow as his spot. He shifts between his pillow to being a cat hat throughout the night. Too funny.

No baby pix at HuffPo this week but I ran across this bit of really good news the other day:

Tiger Discovery

I’m a big supporter of service animals, most of which are dogs. It’s not only the blind who require assistance, however. There are dogs who warn of impending epileptic seizures and heart attacks. Their sensitivities are so much more in tune with the universe than ours. Here’s a great piece about a boy and his dog.

Only simple and quiet words will ripen of themselves.
For a whirlwind does not last a whole morning,
Nor does a sudden shower last a whole day.
Who is their author? Heaven-and-Earth!
Even Heaven-and-Earth cannot make such violent things last long;
How much truer is it of the rash endeavors of men?

Hence, he who cultivates the Tao is one with the Tao;
He who practices Virtue is one with Virtue;
And he who courts after Loss is one with Loss.

To be one with the Tao is to be a welcome accession to the Tao;
To be one with Virtue is to be a welcome accession to Virtue;
To be one with Loss is to be a welcome accession to Loss.

Deficiency of faith on your part
Entails faithlessness on the part of others.

Tao Te Ching, 23, Lao Tzu

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The cat was created when the lion sneezed. ~Arabian Proverb


8:51 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

When a cat speaks, it’s because it has something to say, unlike humans who are the great refuse containers of speech. ~Terri Guillemets


Do you ever wonder what your tiger is thinking? Maste likes to have his head scritched, rubbed, stroked, touched. He’s not real fond of that long stroke down the back, due, I think, to the injury to his tail that affected all the nerves around his butt. He’s just now realized how much fun belly rubs are. After he eats in the evening I can count on him taking a position in front of me on the table to be petted. If I don’t get to him right away he’ll sit in front of me and stare straight into my eyes. I keep wondering what’s going through his mind. I’ve tried for the last few days to catch that look on film but to no avail. When the camera comes up he goes down.


Shiimsa’s a looker, too.


Both pix are from last night.

All of them will exchange looks with me but not like Maste and Shiimsa.

When it comes to vocalizing Kismet is queen. When she wants attention or to be fed ya gotta be three days dead or deaf not to hear her. The rest aren’t very vocal, except Bapu and Ptah after about 11 pm when they sound like Toms on the neighbor’s fence.

It’s getting a little cooler in the evenings and watching them change their behaviour is fun. The dining room window is the only one that has a clear view, the other windows in front and on the side have tall bushes blocking a lot of the view. In the early evening the sun comes through that dining window, which faces west, like gangbusters. They won’t lay on the faux marble sill but I’ll have 3 or 4 on the table where the sun hits. During the day all the sills are covered with tigers, nice and cool.

HuffPo has 2, count ‘em, 2 slideshows this week.

Young ones

Hybrids – be sure to click on the links for the Savannah cat

A full grown liger.

Bend and you will be whole.
Curl and you will be straight.
Keep empty and you will be filled.
Grow old and you will be renewed.

Have little and you will gain.
Have much and you will be confused.

Therefore, the Sage embraces the One,
And becomes a Pattern to all under Heaven.
He does not make a show of himself,
Hence he shines;
Does not justify himself,
Hence he becomes known;
Does not boast of his ability,
Hence he gets his credit;
Does not brandish his success,
Hence he endures;
Does not compete with anyone,
Hence no one can compete with him.
Indeed, the ancient saying: "Bend and you will remain whole" is no idle word.
Nay, if you have really attained wholeness, everything will flock to you.

Tao Te Ching, 22, Lao Tzu

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An ordinary kitten will ask more questions than any five year old. ~Carl Van Vechten


8:22 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

Cats do care. For example they know instinctively what time we have to be at work in the morning and they wake us up twenty minutes before the alarm goes off. ~Michael Nelson


Another uneventful week at Chez Tigre. I’m not complaining, though. It is so nice not to have to be making weekly trips to the vet or going through all kinds of conniptions trying to give some weird med to one of ‘em.


Mojo acts as if he’s been here since birth and Toes is becoming more social by the day. Instead of sleeping on his bed in the bedroom he’s now wandering and sort of interacting with the other tigers. It’s not unusual for me to look down and see him sitting there and wanting an ear scritch. He even has this one syllable "mooow" to let me know he’s there.

Speaking of Mojo, everything I’ve read about Devons says how in tune with two-leggeds they are. Man, is that ever the truth. Whenever and wherever I sit there he is. The only thing that drives me crazy is if I’m in the recliner and he gets on my chest. He will not be still. Settles in then starts to groom himself, repositions himself, rinse, repeat. Nagi climbs into my lap and goes to sleep. Mojo, not on yer life.


Happy endings to a couple horror stories:

Some of Michael Vick’s dogs find homes.

Cat shot with BBs and almost drowned rescued.

The folks at HuffPo have got a winner with their weekly slideshow, imo. Be sure to click on the "Caption" tab at bottom left.

It lies in the nature of Grand Virtue
To follow the Tao and the Tao alone.
Now what is the Tao?
It is Something elusive and evasive.
Evasive and elusive!
And yet It contains within Itself a Form.
Elusive and evasive!
And yet It contains within Itself a Substance.
Shadowy and dim!
And yet It contains within Itself a Core of Vitality.
The Core of Vitality is very real,
It contains within Itself an unfailing Sincerity.
Throughout the ages Its Name has been preserved
In order to recall the Beginning of all things.
How do I know the ways of all things at the Beginning?
By what is within me.

Tao Te Ching, 21, Lao Tzu

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What greater gift than the love of a cat? ~Charles Dickens


8:27 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

Every dog has his day – but the nights are reserved for the cats. ~Author Unknown


Another uneventful week at Chez Tigre, if you don’t count Shiimsa knocking anything glass off the table and the dad having to clean up the resultant mess. He and Gabby have been here 8 years and I still have to move slowly around either of them. Can’t figure out why they’re still so spooky.

Toes likes the dad’s hippie sweater.

My supervisor, Linda, had to have her 17yo Shadow euthanized Friday morning. Linda used to be a dog person until her Bumper died almost 20 years ago. I don’t remember how she got her first cat but for years she had a reputation in the community for taking in strays. When I started working with her I was sort of envious that she appeared to never have to take any of her cats to the vet. It turned out they were just luckily healthy. As they got older, however, things started to change. Anything out of the ordinary sent her into a panic and running to the vet, more often than not the visit showing nothing wrong with the animal. It didn’t take me long at that point to realize she really didn’t know much about cats, their habits or their health issues. She loved her animals but knew little about them. When she started using my vet she started to learn about the various things that can go wrong with cats. When Snowflake became ill a few years ago she made a valiant attempt to prolong his life but now realizes that all those pills (11 at one point) and other stuff was her wanting to avoid the loss. She learned a valuable lesson with Snowflake and didn’t put Shadow through that. My vet will not euthanize an animal if treatment is possible AND the quality of life of the animal remains high. Quality of life is his metric and he won’t hesitate to tell a client that the time has come. Hardest words I can ever hear and it doesn’t get any easier, actually becomes harder each time. Rest in peace, Shadow. You were well loved.

Eileen’s tigers aren’t hanging out in my yard as much as they have for years. One reason is that I’m down to 1 squirrel to feed. I haven’t seen Mama in a couple weeks and the last few times I saw her her right eye was opaque and she wasn’t coming daily. Number One Son is the only one coming now. Strange that 4-5 years ago I had a dozen coming from all over the neighborhood to take a nut from the crazy two-legged.

Speaking of cats hanging out in the yard I thought Eileen had had this little tortie queen spayed. Turns out she didn’t and this gorgeous little girl has 2 kittens and they all like to hang out on the walkway outside my front door. I didn’t see one of the kittens for a while and thought she had lost one since leukemia is present in some of the cats Eileen feeds. I have my own horror story about that. Anyhoo, I looked out the window the other day and there were both kittens and mama. Yesterday when I went out to get the mail the smallest of the two actually let me touch her. That’s a first. Needless to say I had to come in and wash my hands. Don’t know if the little ones are leukemia positive or not. Nice to see them, though.

Have done with learning,
And you will have no more vexation.

How great is the difference between "eh" and "o"?
What is the distinction between "good" and "evil"?
Must I fear what others fear?
What abysmal nonsense this is!

All men are joyous and beaming,
As though feasting upon a sacrificial ox,
As though mounting the Spring Terrace;
I alone am placid and give no sign,
Like a babe which has not yet smiled.
I alone am forlorn as one who has no home to return to.

All men have enough and to spare:
I alone appear to possess nothing.
What a fool I am!
What a muddled mind I have!
All men are bright, bright:
I alone am dim, dim.
All men are sharp, sharp:
I alone am mum, mum!
Bland like the ocean,
Aimless like the wafting gale.

All men settle down in their grooves:
I alone am stubborn and remain outside.
But wherein I am most different from others is
In knowing to take sustenance from my Mother!

Tao Te Ching, 20, Lao Tzu

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Cats only pretend to be domesticated if they think there’s a bowl of milk in it for them. ~Robin Williams


8:14 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

What greater gift than the love of a cat? ~Charles Dickens


Man, talk about an uneventful week. The most notable event was one of the tigers throwing up on Kismet’s dental report. Had the whole dining table to throw up on but noooooooo, it had to be on the report. Oh, well.


Kismet’s teeth must have really been bothering her. I sure wish they could talk sometimes. This morning she was on the bed at oh six hundred, calling for her breakfast. What’s the "oh" stand for? Oh my god, it’s early. Okay, I stole that from Robin Williams in Good Morning, Viet Nam. She hasn’t done that in months. She’s not leaving anything for Feurae or Mojo either, which has them not very happy. Mojo sits on the sink counter in the bathroom and waits for me to open the door, then races in to gobble up what Kismet’s left. He’s polite, though, leaves half of what was there for Feurae. No wonder he’s such a little butterball.

Tama and Bapu have been playing like they did when they were kittens. Haven’t seen that in years. Got a little carried away last night and I had to break it up.

Maste and Igraine get fed on the dining table cuz they won’t eat on the floor with the others. Igraine has developed a habit that she won’t start eating until I’ve stroked her for a minute or two. Just a little prima donna she is.

I saw this at Cheers and Jeers at DKos on Thursday. I’m continually amazed at what animals do.

For cbl2 and oldnslow.

Some of my smaller relatives don’t fare so well.

Drop wisdom, abandon cleverness,
And the people will be benefited a hundredfold.

Drop humanity, abandon justice,
And the people will return to their natural affections.

Drop shrewdness, abandon sharpness,
And robbers and thieve will cease to be.

These three are the criss-cross of Tao,
And are not sufficient in themselves.
Therefore, they should be subordinated
To a higher principle:
See the Simple and embrace the Primal,
Diminish the self and curb the desires!

Tao Te Ching, 19, Lao Tzu

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When your kitty purrs to you, doesn’t it break your heart that you can’t purr back? ~Terri Guillemets


8:13 am in Uncategorized by SouthernDragon

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose. ~Garrison Keillor


Back to normal, whatever that means, at Chez Tigre.

Tuesday, I took Kismet in for her 2-month follow up on her red blood count. Over the weekend I noticed she was eating less and thought she was having dental issues. When I first took her to the vet after I got her the vet said she was gonna need some dental work. With all the stuff that’s gone on with her over the last year, though, the dental work had to be postponed. I told him my suspicions about her teeth and it didn’t take him long to say that we needed to extract some of her teeth. Her blood count was in the high normal range so that issue’s resolved. Soooo, Wednesday morning she goes back to the vet and that afternoon comes home minus 5 teeth. Coupla real doozies came out. The vet’s office makes up a dental record complete with photos. Those are fun. She’s eating better and I don’t think her mouth is bothering her much now. I had 4 doses of an oral pain killer (Buprenex Bupernorphine, 0.25ml, q12h) and boy did she hate that stuff. Don’t have to worry about her becoming a junkie.

Last night I was sittin’ at the table listening to the Rays/Red Sox game (Rays, 3-2, walk-off homer bottom of the 10th) and I noticed Igraine in the window sill, head under the window crank, butt in the air and her tail hangin’ over the edge. Gotta get a picture. I come back out and she’s sitting up. Damn. So I sit back down and put the camera on the table. A month or so ago there was a storm brewing and we could hear the thunder in the distance. Skoshi and Maste are the only ones afraid of thunder. It starts raining and the thunder is getting closer. Igraine is lying on the dining table corner and there’s this lightening flash fairly close and real bright. Igraine is off like a shot. I’ve seen it a couple times since. I don’t think I’m goin’ too far out on a limb sayin’ that I think she equates the flash from the camera with lightening flashes. If I pick up the camera she splits. I followed her around with the camera in my hand and she tried her best to get away from me. I put the camera away and I could approach her with no problem. She can also hear the camera motor from at least 8 feet. She stretched back out on the sill and as soon as I powered the camera up she sat up. If I picked the camera up…. This picture was 2 hours in the making. When I picked the camera up she did a half turn but didn’t get up. I put the camera in my lap and waited for her to lay her head back down. When she did I pulled the old cough trick as I powered up the camera. Worked, by damn! She turned when she heard the click before the flash.


Yellowsnapdragon’s buddy Nagi? About 20 seconds. He and Gabby are such hams.


Mojo? About a minute and a half. He didn’t want to turn around for me. Bein’ a cat.


Tama is the same way as Igraine where the camera is concerned but I’m not sure what the cause is. He and Bapu were on the table grooming each other and I wanted to get a picture of the brothers for Elliott. Pick the camera up and Tama’s off to the bedroom, followed by Bapu. Damn. Tama is soooo photogenic. He’s also stitchinfool’s fave.

When the Great Tao was abandoned,
There appeared humanity and justice.
When intelligence and wit arose,
There appeared great hypocrites.
When the six relations lost their harmony,
There appeared filial piety and paternal kindness.
When darkness and disorder began to reign in a kingdom,
There appeared loyal ministers.

Tao Te Ching, 18, Lao Tzu

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Kittens believe that all nature is occupied with their diversion. ~F.A. Paradis de Moncrif