Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Catty Top 5 Lists & Links

Thanks to http://thebookofbarkley.blogspot.com/2016/12/mymuttytopfive-fun-with-new-pet-blogger.html for steering me to https://mymuttriley.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/on-the-5th-woof-of-christmas-my-top-5/ , which explains what this meme is all about...linking pet blogs.

(Fair warning: some pet bloggers don't like me or my blog, because Graybelle's Cat Sanctuary is not, has never been, and will never be in agreement with the Humane Society of the United States' ideas about confining and sterilizing all pets and giving HSUS shelters a monopoly on all transactions among pet owners. A true Cat or Dog Sanctuary is a very different thing from a HSUS shelter. At best an animal shelter is a sort of disadvantaged substitute for an animal sanctuary. In some cases, including a shelter near me, it's a horrible petnapping-for-profit scheme with long-range goals of subverting local government and culture. I read and encourage some blogs because I believe good people still work at some HSUS shelters, and good animals certainly get sucked into them...but if you're in the habit of believing that loving animals means supporting shelters all the way, this web site is going to be a source of painful cognitive dissonance, prodding you to open your eyes to some sights that aren't pretty.)

Top 5 Dog Breeds (I think all the dogs I have in mind were mixed breeds who showed traits of certain recognizable breeds, so whatever...The common thread is that I like big strong outdoor dogs who've given me a workout. I love a good workout, though Donald the Rescued Greyhound is too much for me.)

1. Collie
2. Hound
3. Retriever (the ones I lived with were gold-toned Chessies, but Labs and Goldens are also lovable)
4. Border Collie
5. German Shepherd

Top 5 Spare-Time Activities

1. Gardening, yard work, anything that gets me away from computers in a useful way
2. Reading real books
3. Knitting
4. Walking in nature parks with The Nephews
5. Remodelling old houses...including mine, if and when resources become available

Top 5 Ice Cream Flavors

1. Moose Tracks (vanilla with chocolate fudge ripple and chocolate-peanut-butter candies)
2. Toffee Crunch (vanilla with toffee bits, coffee with toffee bits, or one scoop of each)
3. Mint Chocolate
4. New York Super Fudge Chunk (chocolate with white chocolate and dark chocolate candies)
5. Rain Forest Crunch (vanilla with mixed nuts, featuring brazilnuts)

Top 5 Places...To be fair, all places within walking distance of my home will be lumped in together with my home, allowing room for other places to appear on this list.

1. Home (fairly high in the Blue Ridge Mountains, within walking distance of Gate City, Virginia, and/or the Natural Tunnel Park, and/or Kingsport, Tennessee)
2. Anacostia Waterfront Park in Hyattsville and Bladensburg, Maryland
3. Assateague Island
4. Alexandria, Virginia (where I'd rent a room, if not staying in someone's home, during visits to Washington)
5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (and you say "Whaaat?" and I say, "Yes, Pittsburgh, specifically a neighborhood called Squirrel Hill, which looks sort of like Takoma Park, Maryland, only with more hills and that Pittsburgh-Gothic sort of buildings, and some of the nicest people in the world")

Top 5 Animal Blogs...some of these have become dormant, but in approximately the order I've been following them:


Reigning Queen of the Cat Sanctuary: Heather
Named for: that coat color
Photographed when: one year old, mildly miffed because I photographed her sister first
Breed: Mixed, mostly American Short Hair; polydactyl; Social Cat
Junior Partner: Tickle (her son, also polydactyl)
Heir to (past Queens): Grayzel, Mogwai, Polly, Graybelle, Minnie, Magic

Favorite Toys:
1. Anything her human plays with, including the computer
2. Books and papers--for moving aside in order to nap on her human's lap
3. Kittens, living--social cats bring up kittens communally, and Heather's role has been more the provider and later the hunting instructor while other cats have done more of the baby-sitting
4. Squirrels, not living
5. Empty tins, for batting about to make noise and attract human attention

Favorite Tricks:
1. Going Out, and proudly waiting for some sort of reward for doing that. (Heather is basically an outdoor cat, but after losing litter mates she's had to depend on humans for mutual grooming sessions. These days, she rarely misses an opportunity to run In and, if necessary, collect a reward for going Out again, as it might be when the human who opened a door was going out to work.)
2. Hunting
3. Sharing squirrels
4. Typing (Heather understands many words, but so far hasn't seemed to be trying to write in English; her favorite key is the space bar.)
5. Shredding

Favorite Spare-Time Activities:
1. Eating
2. Sleeping
3. Hunting
4. Mutual Grooming
5. Rearing Kittens (one communal litter per year--social cats practice birth control, by nursing kittens for six months and by other methods)

And, this being an Amazon Associate web site, let's add a category for Favorite Books. Yes, Heather has had some definite favorites. I have no idea why cats choose to paw through or shred specific books, repeatedly, but some of mine do. Previous cats liked to paw through The Haunted Birdhouse, a picture book whose plot might have appealed to cats, if cats recognize images in flat pictures. Choices for shredding may begin when crickets nibble on or hide behind books, and then continue as the target book becomes a "scratching post" for one cat. Nevertheless, cats' choices are interesting...

1. The Raptor Almanac (for pawing through)
2. Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up (for shredding)
3. A More Perfect Union (for shredding)
4. The Sibley Guide to Birds (for napping on--probably because I've kept it near the door, but anyway...)
5. The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks (for pawing through, although she didn't have many opportunities to paw through it...it does, perhaps coincidentally, happen to contain Davies' famous line about cats being our opportunity to caress the tiger.)

(Any book to which this web site links can be purchased directly from me, at the address at the very bottom of the screen, or via the Amazon or publisher's link provided. In theory I get a commission if you buy things through Amazon links at this site; I get a bigger one if you buy things directly from me.)