“N” is for …

005Happy Monday, Everybody!!! It’s Monday, or maybe it should be Nonday – because today is “N” day!!!

Before I start the A to Z post  — which I’m adding via mom’s phone — I wanted to say how sad we all are for the loss of our sweet Nellie from Nellie on the Edge, formerly The Cat From Hell. I say “our” because she was like family to the cat blogosphere and we are all feeling the pain of her loss. I will do a proper memorial tomorrow but I want to say Nellie, I’m glad you’re out of pain and back to who you really are but I’m also very sad that you’re gone. We love you and are sending prayers for your human mom that she will feel the cat blogosphere’s love and compassion coming toward her. Goodbye, Sweet Queen Nellie.

Our subjects for today are: Napoleon, Night Watchman and Nipper!!

Napoleon was a white cat that lived in Baltimore from during the 1930s. He was a peculiar sort of cat (aren’t we all?) – he had a certain posture he would get into just before it rained: he would lie prone with his front paws extended and his head tucked down on the ground between them. one morning, after a month-long drought and the weather forecast called for “continuing dry weather” Napoleon assumed his rain-coming position. His human called the newspaper to report the change in weather and when his prediction came true, his forecasts were published in the newspaper for the next 6 years. Supposedly he was never wrong in all that time. When he died, he had an inscribed tombstone that read “Napoleon the Weather Prophet, 1917-1936.” And you thought cats were too aloof to be in touch with the world around them!!!0417a cat-napoleon-weather-predicting-book-001 I wish I knew which book this was from!

Night Watchman, a stray cat, showed up at Webster’s Feed store on Pine Island, New York one day. He wasn’t thrown out because he immediately started catching mice. He soon rid the store of mice and was made the office manager. Night Watchman managed the store for 18 years before dying in his sleep.0417 holly ny bodega cat for night watchmanThis isn’t Night Watchman, but she is a bodega cat named Holly!!

Here’s one fellow you old-timer’s will know – Nipper, the mascot for RCA for over 50 years. Nipper was a terrier (some say fox terrier, other’s say Jack Russell) and so named because he would nip at the backs of people’s legs. He was born in 1884 in Bristol, England. He lived originally with his owner, Mark H. Barraud but when he died in 1887, Mark’s brothers, Francis and Philip, took care of Nipper until he died in September 1895.0417 c his masters voice in progress

Three years later, in 1898, Francis Barraud painted a picture of Nipper listening to a wind-up Edison-Bell cylinder phonograph. He figured the Edison-Bell Company would like it so he presented it to James Hough, who declined the offer stating “Dogs don’t listen to phonographs.” Later on in 1899, Francis went to The Gramophone Company to borrow a brass trumpet to replace the black one he originally painted. When the manager of the company, William B. Owen, suggested to Barraud that if he replaced the cylinder machine with a disc machine, he would buy the painting.0417 a his masters voice the original painting

Francis Barraud sold not only the painting but the slogan “His Master’s Voice” to The Gramophone Company for 100 pounds sterling – 50 pounds for the copyright and 50 pounds for the painting itself. Francis Barraud said: “It is difficult to say how the idea came to me beyond the fact that it suddenly occurred to me that to have my dog listening to the phonograph, with an intelligent and rather puzzled expression, and call it ‘His Master’s Voice’ would make an excellent subject. We had a phonograph and I often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from. It certainly was the happiest thought I ever had.” The original oil painting hung in the EMI board room in Hayes, Middlesex, for many years.0417 b his masters voice revised revised painting

As for Nipper, he never knew how famous he became. He was buried in Kingston upon Thames in Clarence Street, in a small park surrounded by magnolia trees. According to Wikipedia, the area was later built upon, and a branch of Lloyds Bank now occupies the site. On the wall of the bank, just inside the entrance, a brass plaque commemorates the terrier that lies beneath the building. On 10 March 2010, a small road near to the dog’s resting place in Kingston upon Thames was named Nipper Alley in commemoration of this resident.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little Nip to the past!!!! Have a Nice Nonday and one of the tuxie girls will see you tomorrow for Tuxie Tuesday and “O” day!!!

Namaste, Toby

 

M is for…

0306dIt’s finally Caturday and also M-Day!! Today I have for you a Mule, a Mike and a Muezza!! Also, More cuddle time with MOM!!!

0415 boston curtisBack in 1936 the mayor of Milton, Washington, Ken Simmons, owned a mule named Boston Curtis. As a joke one day he put Boston Curtis on the ballot for the post of committeeman. And surprising everyone, the mule actually won! It was a landslide victory – 51 – 0 – in spite of the fact there was no campaign and no prior notice. The residents were later really surprised when they learned Boston Curtis was actually a brown long-eared mule!! Simmons later said he did it to prove a point about knowing who you’re voting for!

 

0415 mikeFrom 1909 to 1929, a dark grey tabby cat named Mike was the cat in residence at the British Museum. He lived in the gatehouse at the museum and was very popular. When he died a 165-page obituary was written and published along with the many poems written about him. 0415 mikeThe Magnificant Mike

 

0415 muezzaThe founder of Islam, Mohammed (570-632 CE), was fond of cats. According to Islamic tradition his favorite cat, Muezza, was sleeping on his sleeve when the prophet wanted to get up and pray. He supposedly cut off that part of the sleeve rather than disturb the sleeping cat. When Mohammed returned, Muezza thanked him for not disturbing him. For the cat’s gratitude, Mohammed assigned a place in paradise for the saintly and heavenly cat. An Islamic legend says that the “M” on tabby’s foreheads is in honor of the prophet; but, on the other hand, a Christian legend says the “M” is for Mary, the mother of Jesus!

 

Of course, I haven’t forgotten about Caturday Art!0415-mike

Thanks for stopping by! Tomorrow is Sunday so there won’t be an A to Z post. Be sure to come back on Monday for the letter “N”!!

Friday FiLL-Ins and “L” is for…

011Happy Friday and L-Day!!

I only have one animal for you today but she’s a big one! Her name is LuLu, the Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig, and she saved her human mom’s life!


One day while on vacation in Pennsylvania Lulu’s mom, JoAnn, had a heart attack. Lulu first went to JoAnn’s side and then forced her way through the doggie door and ran into the street. Lulu was a good pig and never left the yard; but on this day, she went to the middle of the street and stood there until she saw a car. She then laid down on her side but the car went around. The next car went around. A third car stopped and then a fourth and Lulu stood up and headed back to her house. One of the drivers of the stopped cars followed Lulu to let them know she had been in the street. When he knocked on the door, JoAnn cried, “Please call 911.” An ambulance arrived after a few minutes and the paramedics were able to save her life. When they put JoAnn in the ambulance, Lulu tried to go with her but they told her she had to stay home. Soon after, JoAnn was able to join Lulu once again. She was awarded the ASPCA Trooper Award for bravery!0414 lulu

Here’s some interesting facts about Vietnamese Potbelly Pigs (thank you, Wikipedia):

*Considerably smaller than standard American or European farm pigs, they weigh 43 to 136 kg (100 to 300 lb), according to one source, 60 to 100 kg (125 to over 200 lb), with some types bred to be rather more miniature.

*Today, the Vietnamese and German governments have realized that the indigenous Vietnamese pig breed exists only in mountainous Vietnam and Thailand. The Vietnamese government has begun to subsidize local farmers who continue to raise the indigenous pot-bellied pigs because it realizes they are neither as prolific nor as large as other breeds.

*Pot-bellied pigs have been abandoned when owners discover that these pigs actually grow to larger sizes and require more care than they believed. Others are forced to give up pet pigs due to local ordinances.

According to Adam Goldfarb, the director of the Pets At Risk program for the Humane Society of the United States, “Pot-bellied pigs are really emblematic of what happens to an animal when it becomes a popular or fad pet. We saw this in the ’90s when there was the initial pot-bellied pig craze. A lot of people went to buy them because they are so cute when they are little, but then they get big.”

Pot-bellied pig associations recommend adoption from local shelters instead of buying. Others like the Southern California Association for Miniature Pot-bellied Pigs and the California Pot-bellied Pig Association are actively involved in housing abandoned pet pigs. Despite this, shelters often have difficulty in finding new homes for abandoned pigs.

*If you want a pig, Adopt! Don’t Shop!!!

And now, for Friday FiLL-ins!!  My answers are in Orange, mom’s are in Pink.

1. An Easter (or Passover) tradition I have is staying up late for the Easter Bunny Cat to arrive.

2. My favorite flavor of ice cream is Turkey Hill’s Chocolate Peanut Butter.

3. One of my favourite Easter/Passover memories is one of my earliest memories is when I was very young (5 or less) and on Easter morning my sister and I went outside to check to see if the Easter Bunny had come yet (in those days the Easter Bunny would leave the baskets on your doorstep). We came back in disappointed that there were no baskets. Mom or Dad must have told us to go back and check again because we – or at least I did – check the front step and there were two baskets filled with goodies. I still remember the sense of awe – that something bigger than me existed.

4. My favourite Spring flower is any flower I can eat and not throw up. 

 

Whew! This was a long post! We’ll see you tomorrow for Caturday Art and the letter “M”!! Lots of Love, Toby

K is for…

0413Happy Thursday and K day!! The two animals I have for you today span the ages – one is from the first century CE and is only rumored event; and the other isn’t even alive but counts as an interesting -awesome animal!!

0413 kara nekoThe Japanese emperor Ichijo (986-1011 CE) loved his cats very much. During this time Japan had only native wild cats and only royalty or nobles could afford to import domesticated cats, or Kara neko, from China. When one of Ichijo’s female cats gave birth to 5 kittens, he was so happy he had day recorded for posterity; that day was the nineteenth day of the ninth month of the year 999. Special attendants were appointed to feed the kittens and dress them in clothing. One of those cherished kittens, Myobu No Omoto, was so much loved by the emperor that he named her The 5th Lady of the Court. As an example of Ichijo’s overwhelming love for his 5th Lady, when, after a dog chased her through the court one day, the dog was exiled and his owner was sent to prison. As for the Lady, she was quickly rescued and abundantly pampered after her terrifying ordeal.

0413 kasparOur second “K” is a cat as well and his name is Kaspar. What’s so special about this sleek, black, panther? He’s not real! Well, he’s real in the physical sense but he’s just not alive! Kaspar is an art deco wooden sculpture and is employed by the Savoy Hotel in London, England. His sole-purpose is to be the fourteenth guest at dinner parties of only thirteen guests—thus avoiding bad luck!

0413 kaspar bBack in 1898 a diamond magnate named Woolf Joel had a dinner party for 14 at the hotel. At the last minute one of the guests had to drop out leaving the guests numbering 13. One of the guests predicted that the first person to leave the table would die. Not one to be intimidated, Joel laughed and left first. A few weeks later he was shot dead. After that, the hotel didn’t want to take any further chances with bad luck and so from then on hotel staff were invited to the table when dinner guests numbered 13. This, however, was unpopular as guests may want to talk about personal and private matters were unable to do so with a stranger at the table. In 1926 artist Basil Ionides was commissioned to design and carve Kaspar, a 2-foot high sculpture, the requisite 14th dinner guest.

0413 kaspar cThese days, Kaspar attends dinner only when requested and when he does, he is set on the table, a napkin placed around his neck and served all the courses of the meal. Winston Churchill was said to be very fond of the cat. During WWII Kaspar was catnapped by some mischievous Royal Air Force personnel and flew to Singapore with them. Churchill himself demanded the cat’s immediate return.

0413 kaspar dAfter a 2010 renovation of the Savoy, Kaspar got his own restaurant, Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill, with his image being used for the logo.

 

Very Kool, yes? ThanKs for stopping by on “K” day! I’ll see you tomorrow for Friday Fill-ins and “L” day!!!  Love and Kisses, Toby