Finn's Fairytale (by Tucker)

Not so very long ago ... in a land not far away (we like to call it Tampa, FL) ...

There lived a Mom Person with a very soft spot for all things people furred.  And she lived with The Very Best Dog In The Entire History Of The World (that's me, Tucker), Phoebe the Brussels Sprout (which is what we like to call my sister Phoebe), and our two feline siblings, Olivia and Tanner.  We more or less lived in perfect harmony, except for the occasional hissy fit from Olivia when Tanner was doing something unforgiveable such as breathing in her general direction. 

Things might have continued on this way for who knows how long, except that about seven months ago, Mom arrived at work to find a certain black kitten lying at the edge of the parking lot looking skinny and sick and generally forlorn.  He was about four months old, and totally alone with no Mom or siblings to keep him company.  She tried for several days to capture him, so she could take him to see Dr. G. (our great doc who helps Mom keep us healthy) but he would only eat the food she left out for him and never let her get close to him.  So she had to trap him in a big cage thing called a Hav-A-Heart trap.  (Which is pretty mean, if you ask me - to lure a hungry, scared kitten into a cage thing with food and then have the door slam shut on him - but it was for a good cause in the end, so that's ok.  Mom knows best about these things, I guess.)

Then she set about having him checked out and worked on finding him a good home because he ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY WAS NOT COMING HOME TO OUR HOUSE! (yeah, right Mom!)

And she actually thought she had found him one and drove him a way far ways away to the lady that was going to be his new mom.  She didn't love leaving him there (her mom radar was going off bigtime, but she thought maybe she was just being silly because she'd gotten to really love a certain black kitten a whole lot in the week that she'd been taking care of him) but she figured it would be ok.  But then the very next day she got a call that the would-be mom was not able to keep a certain black kitten after all.  And could she please come pick him up right away.  Which was very weird, but of course she did.  And when she did, a certain black kitten was hiding under the would-be mom's bed, (where he had allegedly been hiding since the evening before, because DUH he was in a new place and just a week before he had been feral, which according to Mom means he was practically raised by wolves or something) but when she called his name, he came running right out and started purring.  So that was that ...

A certain black kitten (known to all of you as Finn) moved in, and after a few weeks of hissy-fits x2 by two otherwise sweet and loving cats who shall remain nameless (but who KNOW who they are) .....

A certain black kitten (now named Finn) the day before his True Mom took him to the Weird Would-Be Mom's house.

...we all lived happily ever after!  (So far.)



Home again, home again!

Happy Monday, everybody, and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got everything you wanted!  What I wanted to do for my blog post today was to post some pictures of me with some of my Christmas loot, but there were a couple of problems with that plan, the first and most pressing of which was that Mom didn't take any!  She had promised that she would when we got home from Grandma & Grandpa's last night, but then our car had a dead battery.  (I don't really know exactly what that means, but between that and long delays on the turnpike because of a bad crash, the end result was that Mom and Aunt K. were kinda crabby, and we didn't get home until really late.) 

Also, Tanner was saying that he should have the blog post tonight because it is Man-Cat Monday.  Then Finn chimed in and said that he had counted up all the blog posts and he has the fewest of any of us, so it should be HIS turn!  (I actually counted them up myself, and he is telling the truth, so I'll have to see about throwing him a bone or a catnip mouse or something here soon, and letting him get a turn.)  Then Olivia said that since she had been left home to be sat on (and not even alone, but with the two boy cats who drive her insane), that SHE should get tonight's post.  After that, it kind of turned into a free for all.  Even Cosmo was complaining (which he never does).  He said since he technically lives here, too, and IS a legitimate part of the family, even though he is a cousin instead of a sibling, that HE should get a turn to blog for once.  Phoebe didn't say much (which is very UNusual), so I decided to settle everything once and for all ... because, as we all know, this is MY blog ... and post a few pictures of Phoebe and me that Mom took last weekend.  I call them The Leather Chair Portraits.  Hope you enjoy!

Happy Monday, everyone!  (And for any of you in the Northeast, hope you are staying warm and safe from that blizzard!  Brr!)


Fa la la la la and all that jazz!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  (It's 12:21 am where we are, and officially Christmas!)

Anyway, we've had a really busy day and are just about to call it a night and get to bed so Santa Claus can come, but we wanted to check in with everyone first, and also put up a couple of pictures in keeping with the holiday ...
Cosmo is in the Christmas spirit! 
Phoebe, Cosmo, Riley and me ... all gathered together ready to eat, drink, and generally make merry! 
You really can't tell because of the camera angle, but Riley is wearing his Christmas sweater with the hood!  Very festive!
Cosmo loves to relax near the tree ...
Merry Christmas to all ... and to all a good night!


Lots of news!

Hello, everybody!  Sorry we missed checking in with you the past two days - we've been really busy getting ready for Christmas, Mom's been super busy at work, and then yesterday we had to not just get all packed up and get the cat kids situated, but then we had to drive for almost four hours to get to Grandma & Grandpa's house to spend Christmas with them!  Honestly, this time of year it seems like all we do is travel!  Now, I don't have a driver's license myself, so on this trip, Mom did the driving, Aunt K. was the co-pilot, and Phoebe, Cosmo, and I just layed on our comfy bed in the backseat, closed our eyes, and let visions of sugarplums and the like dance in our heads, and before we knew it, we'd arrived!

Grandma & Granda and our Uncle Riley were really glad to see us, and we wanted to stay up and visit all night, but soon we were sleepy and had to go to bed.  But before that, we wanted to just do a little visiting around to see what we all we had missed in the past two days that Mom hadn't let us blog.  We checked in here and there, and it sounds like all of you are really gearing up for the holiday.  We also discovered that our feline pals Fuzzy and Zoe (you might also know them as the OK Cats) had given us an award!  Imagine our surprise and delight - it was like Chrismas had come early!  We are so flattered to have been chosen - and are so excited! 

So now we just need to figure out how to put the award on our blog.  We asked Mom, but she said she didn't know how and would try to figure it out for us later today.  But if anyone knows how, please let us know, ok?  And thanks again to Fuzzy and Zoe for this really wonderful honor - we so appreciate it!)

Now - when we arrived last night we immediately saw that Grandma & Grandpa had been really busy decking the halls since we were last here at Thanksgiving.  So of course first thing this morning we had to check everything out.  We also took a few pictures so you could see a little bit of where we are and what's going on ...

Here I am with my friend, Frosty!  Good to see you, buddy!

I don't know - I think something's up with this guy ... he doesn't feel cold to me?

Phoebe and me in front of the mantel ... I don't really like sitting up here as you can see.

And here's Phoebe with one of Frosty's cousins ... Freezy?

The stockings are hung ....

All ready for Santa to fill them with yummy treats!

Maybe later on we'll show you a picture of the stockings that Grandma's first graders made for Phoebe, Cosmo, Riley, and me.  I think they're really cute!

Talk to you soon, everybody!


Man-Cat Monday with Tanner ...

Hey, everybody!  Tucker's mom here again!  (I promise that I'll keep my posts to a minimum, since the "kids" seem to be doing such a good job of blogging on their own!)

Anyway, since Man-Cat Monday seems to be a pretty universal theme here in blog-land, I thought I'd share a few recent snaps and a brief bio of MY main man-cat, Tanner!  Tanner is a four year old domestic shorthair who's been with me since six weeks of age (like his adopted feline siblings, he was also a feral kitten, and the only one of the three who still had his mother by the time he was trapped).  I'd never had a male cat before Tanner, and I'd always heard all the talk from friends who'd had both genders about how amazingly sweet the boys were.  Frankly, I didn't much believe it.  All my girl kitties had been plenty sweet, and certainly Olivia, though she did have some Diva-ish tendencies, was no exception to this.  But NOTHING could have prepared me for Tanner! 

When I trapped him it was with the intent to find him a loving home, but within about 24 hours, I was completely smitten with the little guy, and when a cat-loving friend whom I'd enlisted to help me find a home for him called to say she'd found the perfect one, I had to turn her down.  I just couldn't imagine letting him go.  Now, four years later, I love him even more than I did then, and with the exception of having a penchant for playing a bit rougher than his sister The Diva appreciates, he seems to only get sweeter with each passing day.  He has the softest, most gentle expression in his eyes, the most adorable freckles on his nose, and the sweetest, quietest little meow I've ever heard.  (Lest you get the idea, though, that he's not tough enough to be man-cat material, let me also just say that he is not all sweetness and light.  He does, for example, have a habit of enforcing a strict mealtime schedule, and if breakfast has not been served by 6:30 am at the latest, I can count on the first thing I see in the morning being one of his front paws as he attempts to peel back my eyelid with his foot to encourage me to rise, greet the day, and get breakfast in front of him!) 

Suffice it to say, I love this guy a lot, but though I'm sure I could ramble on for many more paragraphs, if not pages, I'll end here and just get the pictures put up!
See - I'm a really tough man-cat!  Look at my teeth!

And see my fancy stripes ...

This is my "lion pose" ...

And this is my No-Nonsense "I am the Man-Cat of this house!" look ...

Excuse me - something behind me has caught my attention ...

And now I must give my manly stripes a quick washing ...

Observe my noble, and oh-so-manly profile ...

Just kidding ... I'm really just a (sweet, loveable) pussycat!  Shh ... don't tell! (And also don't tell a certain Meezer that I have a super duper secret crush on her!  OK?)

Happy Man-Cat Monday, everybody!


Part One: An Epic Battle - Part Two: Here Spitty, Spitty, Spitty!

Good morning, all ...

It's a gray, rainy Sunday here in Tampa today, and though yesterday it was warm enough to go naked, today Phoebe and I had to put T-shirts on again.  Yep, you know what they say - if you don't like the weather in Florida, wait five minutes.  Last night Mom almost flipped the AC on before bed, because she likes to be a little bit cool when she sleeps, (of course that might have something to do with the fact that between the five of us she basically has fifty some odd pounds of fur arranged in various poses snuggled up next to her in the bed, or in some cases right on top of her - in fact, it was only three or four mornings ago that she woke up not able to breathe very well, and it was only when she fully woke up that she realized that the reason she couldn't breathe was because she had fourteen plus pounds of striped man-cat by the name of Tanner draped across the top of her head) and then this morning we wake up and we're shivering again.  And according to the guy who lives in the box in the living room armoire, it will once again be sweater weather by the time the sun goes down!  Oh, well - I've got plenty of warm duds and Mom and the other kids to cuddle up with if I get cold, so I guess I'll be fine!

In any case, from the comments I was perusing last night in response to the Mom person's inaugural post on what is still MY blog, (just in case anyone is wondering), it appears that we may be gearing up to have one of the epic battles such as that of the Pekes and the Pollicles ...except that it will be Phoebe and me vs. the cat kids battling for supremacy over what is ... yes ... I'll say it again ... STILL MY BLOG! 

For you see, friends - facing one another across that epic species divide that separates the Ruffs from the Meows, we have the dog followers and the cat followers, and each camp appears equally determined that their side will win.  Me, I'm not much of a fighter, and plus, I have a lot of other things going on besides tending to .... let's all say it together, shall we? ... MY BLOG!  Furthermore, although our two species have been relentlessly pitted against one another throughout history, Phoebe and I really love our feline sibs, and they love us.  In fact, Olivia has told me more than once that she prefers our company to that of the two boy cats.  (They play rather rough, you see, which fact Her Diva-ness does not in the least appreciate!)  And so, though I have begun this post, I will allow my sweet sis, Olivia, to finish it.  After all, if she wants to behave like a shameless harlot flirt a little bit with a certain long-haired black cat on the opposite coast then it's certainly none of MY business!

Ok, that's it for me ... Spitty, my friend, let me officially introduce you to my sister Slutty Olivia ...


Ahem!  I'm back.  Olivia, it seems, has had an attack of the vapors now that the time for the much-anticipated introduction has finally arrived.  She's been so overcome, in fact, that she's had to meow for her smelling salts and retreat to the top of her cat tree for a restorative cat nap.  She did, however, ask me to post a few pictures for her. 

Why hello, Spitty, you handsome man-cat, you!

Goodness ... that was rather forward ... perhaps I should give the illusion of being abashed by my flirtatious behavior ...

In fact, I think I'll pretend that I am thinking about something else entirely ...

Like giving the sisal on my cat tree a good scratch ...

Don't I look demure? 

I'm so shy, in fact, that I can't even look at the camera ...
Such a well-bred young lady cat ...
But come a little closer and I'll give you a nice kiss!
 Ok, it's me (Tucker) again ... and can I just say ... EW GROSS!!!!  This has been a shameless display of flirting by my baby sister, and the fact that I've had to not just witness it, but participate in it, has me blushing like a Pharoah Hound

In fact, I think I might have to hurl!  Bye, everybody!


And now a word from our sponsor (AKA Mom)

Hey, everybody!  It's me, Tucker!  And you know, I knew when I started this blog that it would be inevitable ... eventually, as much as this was MY idea and as much as I was already, I felt, being rather magnanimous by allowing my siblings to share the limelight with me, I knew that at some point Mom was going to want to take HER turn at the keyboard.  And that point, friends and furs, has now arrived.  So in the holiday spirit of giving and sharing and all that good, touchy-feely stuff that, let's face it, as much as I try to pretend I'm a tough guy, I'm just as much of a sucker for as anybody else ... I've decided to be the nice guy that I am, and let her have her turn.  So without "fur"-ther ado ... here's Mom!


Thanks, Tuck!  And hello, everyone!

(And now, if we can forgo the suspension of disbelief for a brief moment, let me just say that at the precise instant when I shifted from my "Tucker voice" to my own, I suddenly got a flash of insight as to how people with multiple personalities must feel.  Not that I mean to make light of what I realize is a serious mental illness, but nonetheless, it did feel a bit, well, odd ... to make that sudden shift from trying to view the world through my dog's eyes and imagining what he might say (or type) had he the ability to do so, to all of a sudden assuming (or reassuming) my own voice.  I can't believe I'm alone in this - I imagine that all of you out there who are doing essentially the same thing that I'm doing have felt somewhat the same, at least occasionally.)

So ... now that that's out of the way ... I suppose that the reason I have briefly siezed control of the keyboard from my faithful friend(s) is really to say thank you to those of you who are following this blog, and especially to those of you who have taken the time to comment.  Olivia, Tanner, Phoebe, Finn, and most especially Tucker, mean the world to me, and as much as I love my human family and friends (which is of course a great deal), they bring something to my life that only they can.  They are not humans, and as much as this blog might appear to be evidence to the contrary, I know this all too well.  And really, I'm glad of it.  Humans are great.  But, for as long as I can remember, animals have been an overwhelming passion of mine.  My childhood was populated with my animal friends, as, clearly, my adulthood has been, and is.  Frankly, I cannot imagine living any other way.  These five special beings that I live with are my friends, my companions, my muses, in many ways my therapy, and even, I'm not ashamed to admit, my surrogate children.  They infuse even the most ho-hum days and the most mundane tasks with joy and laughter, and the constant, unswerving, everpresent love and devotion they show me is something I do my best to live up to, and to be worthy of.

To be perfectly frank, I didn't start this blog expecting that anyone outside of my family and close friends would read it.  I did it mainly for myself, to have a concrete word and picture record of the all-too-brief lives of these incredible animals I am so privileged to share my life with.  Their time with us, as we all know, is far too fleeting, and it's all too easy to get caught up in the ebb and flow of daily life and forget to pay fitting tribute to the days and years we get to spend with them as they are actually happening. 

Therefore, to know that these five precious animals who have given, and continue to give me every day, so much, have in some way touched the lives of others, brought smiles to faces other than my own, and laughter to other pairs of lips, is enormously gratifying, and so I thank you.  I'd love to take credit for it, but really, I can't.  Obviously they think thoughts and feel emotions that as much as I love them and as much as we are intimately connected through the sharing of our lives, I will never know about.  That's part of the mystery, and, for me, the draw, of living so closely and intimately with animals we can never truly know.  Nonetheless, I do my best to know them as well as I can, and to represent them as truly and as honestly as I am able during the times I presume to channel the singular voice and spirit I believe each of them has.  I hope some of that has, and does, come through when "they" post.

I'd also like to thank those of you whose blogs I follow myself, for your vastly entertaining posts and lovely photographs.  Some of you are true artists, and your beautiful photos have made me feel incredibly inadequate, to the point that I am considering a basic photography class and looking into cameras that will allow me to take better pictures (assuming I can figure out how to use them).

It's a gray, rainy, dreary day today, and I'm working, which is never a fun thing to do on a Saturday, but of course, having Tucker & Phoebe here with me makes it much more fun than it might otherwise be.  A lot of what I'm doing today is waiting on artwork to come back from my long-suffering graphic artist (I'm an advertising account executive) who is also tirelessly toiling on Saturday, and so I've been able to spend time with the dogs, play with them a little, take them for a couple of short walks (before the rain started), and so it hasn't been a total loss.  If I have to be at work on a Saturday, at least I've got my faithful companions here with me, and that makes a huge difference. 

I also figured out that the camera on my new Droid has a black and white setting, and so I took a few (actually a lot of) pictures.  The dogs were sleeping (I swear with as many pictures as I have taken and posted of them lying on their office bed, I fear that I'm giving people the erroneous impression that all my dogs do, or are allowed to do, is lie on their bed, which isn't true, of course - it's just that I'm such an abysmal photographer that the only chance I have of getting a remotely decent shot is if they are completely still!) on their bed, so I lay down on the floor and took a series of shots of them, and compared to many of my other photographic efforts, these are not half bad, I don't think.  Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for reading.

Tucker was listening intently to the noise the large Epson printer was making as it started to print one of my presentation files.

But soon grew bored with that and put his head down.  Phoebe as you can see, had already decided that it was nap time, and had snuggled up to her "big brother" for a snooze.

Tuck is feeling sleepy now, but is still giving me his eyes half open look.

Slightly different angle and Tuck doing his by-now-perfected sleep move (head up, eyes half closed, but snoring!) 

Sorry, but I just never get tired of the sight of this guy's scruffy little face. 

It melts me every time.

And Phoebe - well, you know, Tucker loves Phoebe, but Phoebe LOVES Tucker!  (Obviously!)

Obviously not letting sleeping dogs lie ...

Hey - someone's awake

But not for long ...

And here's one of Phoebe ... I really wish I could take a picture of her that didn't make her look like a frowning little gargoyle, because she is actually one of the funniest, happiest, most comical little dogs.  There IS something of an air of gravitas about her, but I still wish it didn't look like she's ticked off in every picture I take of her!  Oh well ...

Happy Saturday everybody!


We met the Big Guy!

As mentioned in my posts earlier today, Phoebe, Cosmo, and I met Santa last night and got our pictures taken with him.  And here they/we are:
Phoebe and me with Santa
Cosmo with Santa

A howling good time ...

... was had by all at the Howliday Block Pawty last night!  (Or at least by all the dogs and people in MY pawty!)
Official signage
Cosmo had stars in his eyes
So much to see ... me - checking out the sights

Phoebe and me in our holiday best!
Cosmo taking a refreshing pause from the festivities!  Thanks, Milagros!
Of course we all had to drop in our notes to the Big Guy!
Phoebe at Wine Exchange - enjoying the ambiance ... and the warmth from the heaters
Excuse me ... waiter?
Cosmo ... enjoying Wine Exchange - Four paws way up!