I know, I know -- I've been posting here far less for the past two weeks! I promise Anna and Zuzu will not disappear again -- I've just been busy with a whole bunch of other little projects, as well as some not-so-little projects, PLUS it's the holidays and all. While I may continue to post less for a bit, no worries -- AnnaZu will not be going anywhere!
I'm late on this, butPraline tagged us for a Meme. Here are the instructions:
1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures. 2. Go to the 6th Folder and then pick the 6th Picture. 3. Post it on your bloggy and tell the story that goes with the picture. 4. Tag 5 other glorious peoples to do the same thing and leave a comment on their bloggy tellin' them 'bout it.
So here we go: Sixth Folder, Sixth Picture is:
This is Miss Anna, playing with a new dog toy bone a friend gave Carter. It took Carter a few weeks to "find" this toy and learn how much fun it is to chew on -- Anna, however, took to it right away.
Click on pic to make larger -- now, look at THAT BELLEH! Look at THAT TONGUE!
I'm cheating and posting another pic that shows her actually playing with the bone:
I sent these pictures to the friend who gave Carter the bone with an email subject line that said: "Look who loves their new toy!" She opened the email, fully expecting to see Carter -- but saw Anna instead!
I'm now supposed to tag 5 friends, but it looks like the kitty friendzes we know here have already been tagged!
So if you're reading this and you haven't been tagged, feel free to do this one yourself -- and leave a comment here so I can go see!
Yesterday's post was about how the girls love to "help." Do you know when they are at their most helpful -- especially Zuzu? At Christmas! Perhaps this is because they are "Christmas kitties," as we brought them home on December 23 in 2006.
Here are some photos of the girls showing off their helpful abilities last Christmas, 2007. Below photos are of Zuzu "helping" Mia prepare oatmeal to put outside for Santa's reindeer:
We didn't have a big tree last year as Carter (dog) was only 5-months old. We tested him by setting up the tree undecorated for a few days and sure enough, he thought the tree was his own personal, giant chew toy. To make up for the lack of a tree, Santa left Mia the lighted reindeer and penguin you see in the pictures.
Both! (I've labeled the picture to help you find them!)
Zuzu: I put this gift in the living room Christmas Eve. I found it in our bedroom on Christmas morning. Apparently one of the girls dragged it all the way back there! Judging by the way Zuzu appears to be possessively guarding the same gift here on Christmas morning, I'm guessing she did the dragging.
Zuzu: "These Mia's toys? But where MAH toys???"
Here's a few photos from Christmas 2006. We'd only had Anna and Zuzu for two days -- look how little!
Anna with Rudolph characters
Anna with tent Mia received for Christmas.
TWO! (Zu in box, Anna outside.)
Baby Zu -- I forgot about this picture. It looks like she's crying:
But no -- she was only playing with Christmas paper!
Hopefully I'll get some good shots of Anna and Zu helping this Christmas. Hopefully too, Carter will let us have a tree this year!!! We'll see ...
I have a lot of little projects I'd like to get started on: the promised AnnaZu and Praline cartoons, photos of Anna and Zu with their Goma buttons, more silly movies like the Anna's Belly one I did last week and more. Hopefully I'll have time this weekend to get some of these started.
Some days, however, I'm lucky I can even get a post up here at all. Not due to a lack of time but because Anna likes to "help" me write this blog.
The below pictures were taken as I was trying to post the most recent kitty cartoon:
This happens nearly every morning -- Anna plops herself directly in front of the computer screen and grooms herself while I'm trying to type. Every so often, she'll catch sight of the mouse arrow. When this happens, I have to completely give up trying to get anything done as then she'll put her whole fat little body in front of the screen and will try to "catch" the mouse. (It's no use putting her on the floor. She merely jumps right back up on the desk again. Forget closing the door -- she'll sit outside the door meowing and scratching until I let her back in.)
A few years back while researching Himalayans, I found the following article: (Excerpt) "As I sit here writing this article I have a Himmy on my lap and another on my desk. They like their people! Himalayans will often attempt to 'help' you do whatever it is that you are doing, whether it is reading the paper, making the bed or reading blueprints. (My husband just loves it when they help him read blueprints from work!) They ARE in the middle of all of your activities, and they express themselves with a wonderful melodious voice."
Is that ever the truth. Which is just one of the reasons I am so crazy about this breed. I've found one has to learn to adjust to what I call the Himalayan's "Follow-follow trait." You learn to work around them as opposed to trying to get them to stay out of your way/off the table/out of the wastebaskets (!!!) and just generally being in your business.
All of which is just fine by me -- I'm fairly certain I will have at least one Himalayan around me at all times for the rest of my life as I just love these cats!
Remember this post back in June when Zuzu told us how she liked to "whomp" the wastebasket by our computer everyday?
I now have proof! Ohhh, Zuzu -- you are SO BAD!
Sorry the lighting is so dark -- we recorded this last night.
I know why she was so focused on getting in that basket: Zuzu has a "thing" for Post Its, especially the really small ones, the 1 x 2 size, I think.
She actually eats these -- and FAST! She had one in mouth a few months ago for all of about 30 seconds. I didn't even have time to take it away from her -- chew chew chew SWALLOW! She likes the peel-off paper backing from adhesive envelopes, that thin, waxy type stuff. That's what she was after in the wastebasket last night -- after I filmed this, I took that out and put in the kitchen trash -- where she can't reach.
Why do you suppose Zuzu like to eat paper???
Kim: But it's not good for you, Zuzu!
Zuzu: Is TOO good for youzuzu! Yummy yummy good for youzuzu!
I found another old cartoon yesterday. This one was done around July of 2006, shortly after I adopted Little Girl. A few months after she came to live with us, she got very sick: fever, very bad diarrhea. The vets weren't sure what was wrong with her -- I was going back and forth to the office, including emergency visits when she became so dehydrated, for nearly a week.
I left her overnight on a Friday for observation. That evening I feared she was never coming home again. The next day, however, she was much better. Within a few days, she was back to her old self.
I did the below cartoon about a week later. It's not my favorite: I used a very large piece of paper and one with a heavy grain -- my colored pencils therefore look like crayon, messy and too light. Also, I went a bit over the top with, ah, "mixed media," working in metallic purple ribbons, blue glitter and cut-out pieces. I'm not sure it worked so well. Also, I'm not sure the story is clear, so I'll provide a translation.
Here's the full piece: One: Angels, kitty angels in heaven. They look down on Little Girl throughout the week as she is so sick. Recall, angels make Himmies and miss them when they send them to earth. They worry that humans might not take perfect care of their little fluffy masterpieces! The angels are relieved and happy she is coming back to them.
The angels pause. They see me sitting with her, missing her already, remembering all the things she did, like hugging my FEET and playing with her toys.
The angel kitties beg the angels not to take her yet. They beg them to "touch her," heal her so she can stay on earth.
Angel Kitty One is crying!
That time I was lucky. That time, the angels decided they could live without my Little Girl -- for a little while. About a year and half later, they couldn't wait any more. They took her back.
(Insert big sad.)
But, you know Little Girl taught me, truly: almost beautiful, that pain. For if there wasn't so much love, there could never have been that much pain.
Anna: (tiny voice ) Me?
Kim: 'You' what, Anna?
Anna:YOU SEE ME!
Zuzu: Ahhh! You not so smartz today! She mean WE HERE NOW! NO MORES SADZ!!!
Kim: OH! Yes, yes, I do see you guys! And in fact, "no more sadz" is the current topic of next cartoon!
Thought you might like see who has been taking up so much of time and preventing me from updating Anna and Zu's blog all summer.
Introducing Carter, our 16-month old long-haired German Shepherd Dog. This video was made early this summer -- he's even bigger now! I picked this song as he is my "Romeo." I just love mah doggie! (Then again, I can't think of an animal I don't like.) (Except well ... I'm afraid of toads and frogs. Blush.)
Zuzu: Love goggie more than us??? Kim: No, no no Zuzu -- not more than you!
I'm certainly making up for lost time here, aren't I?
Truth be told, in addition to being busy with dogs, horses, work and the like, I've also been rather heavily involved with a number of personal writing projects. I recently decided to take a break from these, as some of the topics I write about can get a bit, well, "heated" from time to time. Putting my other writing projects on the back burner has allowed me to focus my energy here -- which is so much fun and gives me a well-needed break.
Zuzu: What 'heated' mean?
Kim: That's when people get upset or very emotional about issues they feel strongly about.
Zuzu: Like doody on fluff???
Kim: Um, well, kinda.
ANYWAY, a few months back I began playing around with Photo Story 3 and made a bunch of silly little "movies."
Tonight I made one for Anna. I hope you like it! (Please be sure you have your sound/speakers on !)
The following cartoon portrays a true story involving Little Girl, my first Himalayan and a mouse. Luckily I had my camera handy and was able to take pictures.
One early morning, I noticed her sitting motionless by an old heating grate in the hallway.
"Little Girl, what are you doing?" I asked her and walked over to check it out.
Apparently, she had chased and trapped a mouse in there!
The grate is just a metal box with bars over the top, no longer in use, no wiring attached. As the whole unit lifts easily out of the floor, my husband was able to take the whole box outside (um, yes, while wearing just his boxer shorts) and set the poor mouse free.
This temporarily left a hole in the floor, with only a layer of insulation between the floorboards and an approximately 10-foot drop onto the concrete floor of the basement below. Both of us neglected to consider that Little Girl, likely thinking the insulation layer was solid and still intently focused on her mouse, would go into that hole.
And drop ten feet onto hard concrete.
Poor baby! She was okay, only slightly chipped one of her front teeth. It was pretty scary, tho and I felt so bad for her!
Here's the story, in cartoon form. Per usual, there are errors here also: note in the "Help falling!" pic, I drew her front feet BACKWARDS! She should have her little pads showing, not her claws. This can be easily fixed with a little cutting and pasting, but somehow, I can't bring myself to change it.
Click to enlarge: You know, I hadn't realized until today that after Little Girl died, and then Smoosh only four months afterward, I completely stopped drawing these kitty cartoons. Those deaths were so incredibly painful, that I couldn't even deal with deciding what to do with the sweaters I was wearing at the veterinary hospital when they died. It was only this summer that I was able to go through this big box of stuff I'd packed away that reminded me of them and sort it out. I was finally able to wash those sweaters and begin wearing them again.
That 30- second Praline sketch I did a few posts down is the first kitty cartoon I've drawn in over two years.
I still say I am no artist. You'll note the above cartoon is very rough and drawn on printer paper, for crying out loud. Still, I enjoy drawing these -- and had forgotten how much I enjoy making them until this week when I began posting them here.
So I thank all my kitty friends and their humans for introducing me to the Kitty Blogosphere and renewing my interest in drawing again. I spent yesterday doing sketches of flatfaced kitties, trying to figure out how to capture that "grumpy" look but without making them look too grumpy -- not easy. I'm happy to say I may have found the right combination of grump and cute.
Hopefully I'll have some time to start working on some new cartoons soon!
Anna and Zuzu are the first cats I've ever owned who have a pedigree as all my other kitties were strays and rescues. While I'm all for adopting shelter kitties, I've really enjoyed the unique experience of being able to see not only the mom and dad, but also grandparents of my cats.
So today, I bring you Annabelle and Zuzu's Family Tree!Goma fans, please note this Family Tree is Goma's also -- he shares the same mom and dad as my girls, but is from a later litter.
First, meet their daddy Ch Kasiakatz Read Set Go of Cozycreek, aka "Tonka:"
Photos courtesy of Suzette Garey Please visit Suzette's Cozycreek links found to right of this page.
I love this last one -- look at his back feet!!!
Tonka is a flame-point Himalayan. He has the "extreme" or show-quality flat face. His breeder Suzette described him as having an exceptionally sweet personality. I had the honor of meeting Tonka when we picked up the girls back in December of 2006. My husband, daughter and I were playing with Anna and Zu, and all of a sudden there's Suzette with this gigantic pile of FLUFF in her arms! Tonka was absolutely beautiful, adorable and BIG -- I wanted to pick him up and lug him around all day. He is now retired from breeding and in his forever home.
Quick note on our visit to Suzette's home: at the time we bought the girls, I think she had about 7 or 8 adult Himmies and Persians at her house. I was in heaven -- this was the first time I had seen such beautiful, fluffy, flatfaced kitties other than in pictures! The cats were all loose in her home, not in cages, but hanging out happily with the family. After two minutes in Suzette's home, I knew we were getting our girls from a loving, responsible breeder.
Now meet Tonka's mommy and daddy, or Anna and Zuzu's grandpa and grandma:
Here's Grandpa, Ch PhylcatsWalkin Bluline or "Lovey:"
And Grandma, Kimpaw's Maya of Kasiakatz or "Maya:"
Photos courtesy of Cathy Best
Both Grandpa and Grandma were owned by Cathy Best at Kasiakatz Persians and Himalayans. (I warn you, DO NOT click on that link UNLESS you are sitting down! Cathy's site is PACKED with adorable, breath-taking Himmies and Persians! Be prepared to swoon!) Lovey is still producing beautiful kittens at Kasiakatz while Maya is now retired and in her forever home.
Lovey drives me crazy! He is soooooooooooo cute! And I am delighted to learn the girls have some TORTIE in their background -- that must be where Anna gets her "talky gene" as every Tortie I ever knew always had a lot to say!
Now meet Anna and Zuzu's mommy, Cozycreek Wish Upon a Star, or "Star:"
At 16 weeks
Photos courtesy of Suzette Garey
Star is seal-point Himmie (I think! I get confused with all the different "points!") with a more "traditional" or "doll faced" nose. Just look at how blue her eyes are! Now we know where Goma got his eyes! Star is also now retired from breeding and in her forever home.
Now meet Star's mommy and daddy, and the second set of grandparents:
Here's Grandpa, Ch Sue-Ral'sUtakmyspeechaway or "Josh:"
And Grandma, Indian Summer of Cozycreek or "Piper:"
Photos courtesy of Suzette Garey
LOOK at that Josh! LOOK at that smooshy, squishy little face! He looks like a little grumpy bear!
Zuzu: "He NOT grumpy! Just his flat face!"
Um, right -- sorry, Zuzu.
And look how beautiful Piper is -- her face looks so sweet!
It is so interesting to me to see how this "family tree" or breeding manifests in Anna and Zu. While the blue-cream point coloring is the result of a mix of both Tonka and Star's combined coloring, Anna definitely has Star's face and more delicate body:
While Zu has Tonka's face and chunkier or "cobbier" body:
They both have Tonka's lighter blue eye color.
Also interesting is how their personalities were pretty much determined at an early age: at nine weeks old, Anna was curious, fearless, loved to be held and kinda "silly." At the same age, Zuzu was friendly but more cautious and while she follows me everywhere, she does not like to be held. Today, at two years old, their personalities are exactly the same.
Finally, here's a riddle for you:
Q:What happens when you mix a Josh with a Piper and a Star and a Lovey and a Maya and a Tonka? A: Special thanks to Suzette Garey and Cathy Best for photos.
Zuzu: "Weeeeeeeeee want fancy names too! I can has Ch Zuzu Eighth Thunky Wonder of the World of Cozycreek an sheeeee can has Ch Annabelle Banana See Mah Belly of Cozycreek!"
Kim: "Um, Zuzu, you guys can't be 'Ch,' because neither of you are champions."