V is for …

0426 aHappy Wednesday everyone! Because today’s letter is “V” Toby called me up and asked if I would mind hosting today’s post. Of course, I said “Yes!” So today “V” is for Vashka.
There’s not a lot of information on Vashka. She was supposedly a Russian Blue who belonged to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. That’s it. That’s all I have!

Russian blues were first called the Archangel cat because tradition holds that sailors first brought the cats to Western Europe in the 1860s from the Russian port of Archangelsk on the White Sea. “Many believe the Russian Blue is a natural breed originating from the Archangel Isles in northern Russia, where the long winters developed a cat with a dense, plush coat. Rumors also abound that the Russian Blue breed descended from the cats kept by the Russian Czars. Assuming the Russian Blue did migrate from northern Russia, it was likely via ship to Great Britain and northern Europe in the mid 1860s.” (The Cat Fanciers’ Association. 11 October 2013.)

0426 Nyan cat meme The cat icon Nyan was named after a Russian blue owned by the artist.

0426 Two Lumps Two Lumps comic strip has cats that are Russian Blues.

0426 bOf course, you can figure out why Toby asked me to host today – I’m not a Russian Blue, but I can pretend!! Tomorrow is “W” day and Toby will be back. Maybe I’ll see you again sometime!

Love and Archangel kisses, Jack

U is for…

0425Welcome to “U” day!! We’re less than a week away from finishing up the challenge and I can’t believe I’ve made it this far! I’m going to be doing some serious NAPPING when this is over!!! Today’s post is short – with only one pet! His name is Uggie and he’s a movie star!!

In 2002 animal trainer Omar Van Muller found about a Jack Russell who was headed to the pound for the second time because he was too wild for his owners. It seems he was acting like any Jack Russell by being hyperactive. Muller said he would take the dog immediately and Uggie’s career as an animal actor was born! After some training, Uggie starred in some commercials and had a few minor movie roles. water-for-elephantsHis first big part was as Queenie in Water for Elephants.

But the role he is best known for is in the 2011 silent movie, The Artist, as Jack. 0425 uggie bWhile the movie won 5 of the 2012 Oscar awards, including Best Picture, Uggie won the Golden Collar Award for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film from Dog News Daily. The American Humane Associated named him the winner of its PAWSCAR Best Scene Stealer. Uggie became the first dog to place his prints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. He also won the Palm Dog Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a special mention at the Prix Lumiere in France for his performance in the film.0425 uggie a (I’ve seen the film and Uggie was great in it. However, I didn’t mind the fact that it was in black and white, but being a silent film bugged me and I ended fast-forwarding to just watch the Uggie scenes!) Due to a neurological disorder, Uggie had to retire from film acting in 2013, but remain with Omar and his family until his death in August, 2015.

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Thank “U” for stopping by!!! “U” know, at the end of the alphabet there are slim pickin’s as far as pets – but I will do my best to keep “U” entertained!!

Love U all!!, Toby

T is for…

Happy Monday, everybody!!! Today is “T” Day!!! Today I have for you a horse and 3 cats!!!! – Trigger, Tiddles, Towser, and Trim! It’s a long post Today, so grab your cup of Tea, siT down and enjoy!

Okay, for those of you humans who are really old (like my mom) may remember Trigger, a golden palomino, the most famous house of his day. Originally named Golden Cloud, his first role in the movies was in the film, The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn (an ancient movie actor) in 1938. Later that year he was a part of a group of horses auditioning for Roy Rogers, TV’s greatest cowboy. From the moment Rogers climbed onto the palomino’s back he fell in love.0424 trigger a After their 3rd film together, Rogers bought the now renamed Trigger for $2500; from then on they were inseparable. Trigger starred in 87 films and 101 TV shows, knew over 60 tricks and could walk 150 steps on his hind legs. He made personal appearances and always traveled in style – he even had his own passport for overseas travel! 0424 triggerTrigger retired in 1957 and died in 1965 at the remarkably old age of 33. Roy Rogers was heartbroken. He said he had lost the “the greatest horse who ever came along.” And then he did the strange thing that some humans do, had him stuffed and mounted. The taxidermy remains of Trigger and Roy Roger’s German Shepherd, Bullet, now reside in Omaha, Nebraska having been purchased in 2010 by RFD-TV in anticipation of a museum focusing on the Old West.0424 trigger b


Tiddles was a ladies’ room cat at Paddington Station, London, weighed 32 pounds (some sources say 25 pounds) and had his own refrigerator. He was so popular with travelers he received fan mail from all over the world and enjoyed a diet consisting of steak, lamb and cod. One of his favorite things to do was to visit occupants of the stalls throughout the day.


9th September 1978: Tiddles, the famous fat cat which lived in the public lavatories at Paddington Station, London. (Photo by Chris Moorhouse/Evening Standard/Getty Images)



Towser was a champion ratter who reportedly killed 28,899 rats over 24 years while she was ‘employed’ by the Glenturret distillery in Tayside, Scotland (which number didn’t include any she ate!). She reigned as the Queen of Ratters from April 1963 to March 1987. She had a number of replacements and the last one I could find was a kitten named Peat who died in 2014 at the age of 6 months after an unfortunate accident. Oh, and by the way, Towser was a long-haired tortieshell – how’s that for tortitude!!!

0424 towser c      0424 towser a

   0424 towser Monument for Towser outside the distillery

 0424 towzer b


In 1791 a tuxedo cat named Trim was born on the HMS Reliance on its way to Australia. The ship’s captain, Matthew Flinders, saw the kitten fall overboard, swim back to the ship and climb aboard on a rope. Trim soon became a favorite of Captain Flinders and the crew. He sailed with them on the HMS Investigator on its circumnavigation of Australia and even survived the shipwreck of the HMS Porpoise in 1803. On his voyage back to England, Flinders was accused of spying by the French and imprisoned on the island of Mauritius. Trim shared his captivity until he disappeared one day. Flinders figured Trim ran afoul of starving slaves who caught and ate him. Poor Trim!

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That’s all I have for you today! I hope you enjoyed it and your tea (or coffee)! Have a Terrific “T”-day and I’ll be back Tomorrow with the letter “U”!!

Sunday Selfie!!

I’m taking a break from A to Z Challenge! Here’s a couple of selfies mom and I took outside a week or so ago! I look great (as always) but mom doesn’t like the selfies of her. Isn’t that typical of humans?0423 a Me, mom and the sky. I wasn’t ready yet.


0423 b Mom loves that sky!! She needs selfie lessons – where’s my left ear?


0423c To be honest here, I was trying to get away – enough with the selfies!!! You see that iron grip she has on me?


0423d Let me go, mom! I’m all selfied out!! She’s done, too – she’s not even smiling anymore!!!




I’ll be back Tomorrow wiTh The final week of A to Z posTs!!! Tomorrow is “T” day!!! Are you Thinking, maybe, T-rex? Well, Then, you’d be wrong!!!!! Come back To find out who are my feaTured peTs!!!

Love, Toby-the-so-not-selfie-king

S is for… and Caturday Art!!

0422It’s Saturday So it’s appropriate that today is “S” day!!! It’s alSo Caturday Art day So you’ll have to gueSS which pet I’m with today! (No peeking!) We’re going to learn about Saur, Sage, and Sergeant Stubby.

Saur was another dog-king! He ruled over Norway’s Uplands in the early 1100s. Norway’s king at that time was Eystein. He and his son Onund were hated by the Uplands people so Eystein told them since they refused to be ruled by him or his son, they could choose between the king’s manservant or his dog. The people took a vote and decided on the dog. A throne was built for Saur and he was carried when the weather was bad so he wouldn’t get his feet wet; he also signed decrees with a stamp of his paw. There is, however, no record of the ‘man’ behind the throne! Unfortunately, Saur had a short reign of three years. He died with dignity in battle with a pack of wolves that attacked the royal sheep.0422 king-saur


A border collie from England named Sage became a FEMA dog. Her partner, D. Whetsel, calls her a “canine Brainiac” – a very smart and quick student. After training Sage’s first mission was on 9/11. She is the dog who found the remains of the terrorist who had flown the plane into the Pentagon. Later, Sage and Diane went to Iraq for 6 months searching for missing American soldiers, both in water and on land. Also, while in Iraq, she served as a therapy dog, bringing joy and comfort to the soldier’s lives. At ten-years-old and back home, Sage was diagnosed with cancer. She fought the cancer the way she did everything – full-tilt. While battling the disease, she became a therapy dog at Camp Enchantment, where kids with cancer go to get a boost in their lives. She fit right in with the kids! When she died in 2012, Whetsel started the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve, whose mission is “to promote the welfare of dogs who have faithfully served in wars, police work, crime prevention, and rescue efforts through education and increased public awareness.”

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There were many hero dogs of World War I but one in particular was the most famous dog of his day. Sergeant Stubby was a small pit bull/Boston terrier mix and he was smart and brave. In July 1917, he wandered into army training grounds in New Haven, Connecticut and was eventually adopted by Corporal Robert Conroy. Conroy smuggled Stubby on the troop ship and into France. When his commanding officer found out about Stubby, the pup saluted the officer the way he had been trained by Conroy and Stubby was allowed to stay with the 102nd Infantry.0422 stubby a

One morning in Autumn of 1918 Stubby caught a German spy mapping out American trenches – literally by the seat of his pants. Stubby held on to the man’s backside until the soldiers arrived. With that capture, he was made a sergeant, the first dog to be given a rank in the U.S. armed forces (although there is some mild controversy about whether his rank was ‘official’ or not).

The war dog learned to live with the noises of war and when high-pitched shells were incoming, he would go to ground and cover his ears with his paws. The soldiers learned that this was a sign to take cover before the shells hit. Early one morning while the unit was asleep Stubby woke smelling a gas attack and howled an alarm. The soldiers were able to wake up in time and put on gas masks. He led lost and injured soldiers back to camp, led medics to injured soldiers and carried messages in a can attached to his collar. He served 19 months overseas and survived 17 battles. When he and Robert finally went home, they worked together to raise money for the war effort. Sgt. Stubby died in his sleep in 1926. Conroy had Stubby taxidermied and in 1957 donated the war dog to the Smithsonian.

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For Caturday Art I went back in time and sat on a parade float with Sgt. Stubby!!0422 stubby art

So, it waS So nice of you to Stop by!!! AlaS I have to Say Sayonara until Sunday!!! Love and Sweet KiSSeS to you all, Toby