A to Z: ‘I’ – IF IT Fits I Sits


if it fits

If It Fits, I Sits
Cats in Awkward Places

Gallery Books, 2016

From the back of the book, “Anyone who knows cats knows how much they love squeezing themselves into weird, uncomfortable-looking, and unfortunate places. And they do it with such aplomb! Will we ever know why? Probably not. With more than one hundred photos of cats caught in the act, If It Fits, I Sits celebrates the quirky, adorable, no-nonsense spirit of felines everywhere.”

It’s amazing what we felines can get up to, isn’t it? We can get ourselves in the craziest places and in the oddest positions and still be comfortable. This book is full of photos of cats doing just that and some of them are really funny.

I will admit I was worried a little when I saw some of the photos of cats and kittens in outdoor places. I hoped they weren’t strays left to fend for themselves. And that brings up the only thing I didn’t like about the book – that there is no identifiable author and maybe 98% of the photos came from various ‘stock’ sources online. That worries me because with other books, the author/compiler/photographer goes to great length to say no cats were harmed and all the cats were either rescued or adopted. The ones inside are probably fine. But it’s the outdoor kitties where I pause.

Rating 3 out 5 paws only because I worry about the fate of the outdoor kitties in these photos.




A to Z: ‘H’ – The HOTEL Cat


the hotel cat

The Hotel Cat
A Jenny’s Cat Club Book

Esther Averill
The New York Review Children’s Collection, 1969

From the back of the book: “On a cold winter night the heat goes off in Jenny Linksy’s house and Captain Tinker tells Jenny and her brothers Checkers and Edwards that they will all be spending the night at the Royal Hotel. As it turns out, this is no ordinary cold snap: this is the Big Freeze. Boilers all over the city are breaking down and people and pets are crowding into the hotel. In the midst of the confusion, Jenny is delighted to encounter her old friends from the Cat Club.

“Tom, the hotel cat, used to be a stray, living a tough life on the streets. One day he showed up at the Royal, and soon he was earning his keep as a mouser. But what’s Tom to do when so many new cats suddenly show up on his territory? Can he trust them? His friend Mrs. Wilkins has lived at the hotel for a long time and knows how to talk to cats. She persuades Tom to give the visitors a warm welcome. Which is how Tom and Jenny and the members of the Cat Club all come together to put on the unforgettable gala Stardust Winter Ball!”

So, with this Jenny’s Cat Club book we meet 2 new cats – one who, as it turns out, is from a previous book that we haven’t read – Jenny Goes to Sea. Our library doesn’t have it so it may take a while for us to find a copy to enjoy. But, nonetheless, the new/old character is Jack Tar, a ship’s cat that spends his shore leave with Captain Tinker and kitties. But the new cat, and the main one of this book, is Tom, former stray, now The Royal hotel cat. And what a character he is, too. He is at turns an old softie and a bit of a bully in the beginning but he learns to be tolerant of other cats and makes some forever friends.

Another charming addition to the Jenny’s Cat Club series; there are lessons in tolerance and acceptance, and in working together for the common good. I especially liked the addition of 2 humans to the story – these humans are special because they can converse with the cats easily and give them room to be cats. We wish all humans could do that!!! As with the other books, the print is a medium size so it’s good for somewhat experienced readers and older kittens may want to practice reading by sharing it with their younger siblings. The line drawings are sweet as well, although I did miss seeing Jenny’s scarf not printed in red! We’ve enjoyed the whole series and look forward to reading the other two somewhere down the line!

Rating 4 paws out of 5 – for storytelling at its finest and dancing cats!!




A to Z: A – Jane Austen

a2z2018It’s here! The 2018 A to Z Challenge! Remember my cohorts and I are doing cat-related book reviews. I hope you enjoy them!!

pride and prejudice

Pride and Prejudice and Kitties
A Cat-Loves Romp through Jane Austen’s Classic 

Jane Austen
Pamela Jane
Deborah Guyol
Skyhorse Publishing, 2013 

From the back of the book: “What if Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was told from a cat’s point of view? On the heels of smash hits like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I Can Has Cheezburger?, this hilarious mash-up spins a fresh, quirky take on two things we just can’t get enough of: classic cats and classic Jane.

Pride and Prejudice and Kitties juxtaposes wacky photos of cats with the wicked humor of Jane Austen. Soulful Mr. Darcy gazes at Elizabeth Bennet in fascination; hysterical Mrs. Bennet yowls that no one understands her; somnolent Mr. Hurst passes out on the sofa after dinner; arrogant Lady Catherine hisses at Elizabeth. Each photo includes a hilarious caption that corresponds with the story.

Pride and Prejudice and Kitties is a book for cat-lovers, Austen-lovers, and people who love to laugh—in other words, just about everyone.”

I hope my librarian and Jane Austen fan Auntie doesn’t read this review—but I thought the book was just okay. We don’t read many romances around here or even much classic literature. So, it was with difficulty I finished the book. I’ve never read Jane Austen before or even seen one of the many film & television adaptations of her books (to the horror of my Auntie and Granmama). But mom saw it on the shelf at the library and it had a cat on the cover and was about kitties, she said ‘why not?’. You should have left it on the shelf, mom.

What was wrong with it, you ask? For a cat who doesn’t like to read books about females whose sole intent in life is to get that tom and marry him, this book was torture. I was struggling and got really confused by all the goings on (does he love me?, does he hate me?, blah, blah, blah) and had to stop midway through, have mom pop the DVD in (which she’s had for several years and hadn’t even removed the blister wrap), so I could figure out the story. After the movie, I sailed on to the end, grateful it was done.

Whether or not the book is faithful to the original I cannot speak to and I won’t be finding out anytime soon. My final verdict? If you love romance, Jane Austen, and cats, this is the book for you. If you love cats but not romance or silly girl kitties fighting over eligible toms in the neighborhood, avoid the book at all costs. Also, some readers may find all the cat-memes funny; but I didn’t guffaw at them, just mildly chuckled. I guess my humor leans in another direction.

Rating: 3 out of 5 paws because I’m just not into Jane Austen (sorry Auntie!).

Reviewer: BobbieSue




And finally, Z is for…

0430Wow!!! We made it! We reached the last day of the Blogging A to Z Challenge!! We reached the Zenith!! It seems like the month just Zoomed by! Some of the pets we met were a bit Zany, don’t you think? Some were filled with Zest and were Zippy-on-the-spot in protection of their humans. Some lived in Zoos and some had their own Zones throughout the globe. You already know what day this is—it’s “Z” Day!!!! It’s also the only Sunday post so I’m combining this post with a selfie!!!

For Z-Day, I have Zenit and Ziva to tell you about. Both are German Shepherds and working dogs in uniform.

In the beginning, Marine Cpl. Jose Armenta looked at his new canine partner, Zenit, as just a piece of Marine “equipment.” Zenit was a certified explosive-detection dog and wasn’t treated as a pet. After training they flew to Afghanistan where they led security patrols through the desert. One summer day they were searching for IEDs ahead of the platoon when Zenit froze. He had sniffed one out. Armenta marked the bomb for removal later and on they went. Then Zenit froze again four more times, each time finding another IED. As they walked on Armenta took a wrong step and hit a mine. He flew 20 feet across the desert. He survived but lost both legs above the knees. While Armenta went into the hospital to recover, Zenit was assigned a new handler. During his recovery, the Marine realized just how much he missed his partner and how important Zenit was to him. Zenit was no longer ‘just a piece of Marine equipment’, but a friend. It took some time but in 2012 Armenta was able to adopt the war dog when he retired. Now the two are never separated and Zenit is treated as the beloved pet and friend he is. Today the retired war dog lives in San Diego with two fur siblings, Boston terriers Oreo and Sassy, and Armenta, his wife and son. Now, instead of sniffing out IEDs, Zenit sniffs out balls and other toys during games of fetch with his family.

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Jose Armenta is profiled in the June issue of National Geographic’s cover story, “Hero Dogs.” He tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross about his and Zenit’s life together in the Marines, and how civilian life has changed the German shepherd.


And last, but certainly not least, the final animal in our quest to learn about these wonderful and amazing animals this month, is Ziva. In Seattle, Washington, Ziva, aged 8, is famous as the “dog who saved Christmas.” A burglar had broken into a jewelry store before Christmas, 2013 and stole almost $8,000 in merchandise. Ziva and her partner, Officer Mark Wong, tracked down the suspect – Ziva sniffed him out hiding under a parked car. And thanks to Ziva almost 100% of the merchandise was recovered. Another arrest Ziva helped with was cornering 3 suspects who were stealing metal from a compressor. All three went to jail. Officer Wong also takes Ziva to area schools where she is a hit with the students. Ziva’s most recent success was on March 2, 2017 when a couple of teens broke into a Seattle home. The first suspect surrendered immediately upon seeing Ziva and the second tried to run away but wasn’t able to evade Ziva’s superior detection skills. Afterward, officers booked the 15-year-old into the King County Youth Service Center and the 18-year-old into the King County Jail for burglary.

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And, to be fair, there is one more Z dog – Zoe, who we found when researching Ziva. Zoe is (possibly) a chocolate Labrador retriever and another K9 with the Seattle Police but she is a Narcotics Detection Police Dog.  Zoe, age 8, has served with the Seattle Police Department for six years. Over the years, Zoe located numerous hidden compartments in vehicles, resulting in the seizures of narcotics and currency.0430 zoe


Well, that’s it for another year! I’ll do a wrap-up post tomorrow then I’m going to sleep for 5 days! (not really!) Thank you for checking us out each day during our A to Z journey. We appreciate you and enjoyed bringing you some little tidbits of information to broaden your horizon.

Love y’all from A to Z!



Y is for …

0429artHappY “Y” daY! whY is it a happY daY???? Because there’s just “Z” left after this and another marathon of posting will end! I’ve had fun, but I have to admit I’m tired!!! “Y” was a tough one – I wasn’t able to find mY subject until more than half-waY through April! But I kept looking and eventuallY found an amazing Yorkshire terrier named Smoky!

World War II had a lot of war dogs in service and we’ve already learned about Judy who served in the British army but the United States Army had their own famous dog. A little 4 pound Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky. She weighed 4 pounds and was 7 inches tall and, according to Wikipedia, “is credited with beginning a renewal of interest in the once obscure” terrier breed.0429 yorkie smoky

Smoky was found by an American soldier in February 1944 in an abandoned foxhole in the New Guinea jungle. The soldier figured she was an abandoned Japanese pet and sold her to Corporal William A. Wynne for the price of $6.44 so he could get back into a poker game.0429 yorkie smoky d For the next two years, she accompanied Wynne on treks through the jungle and combat flights in the Pacific. Even though she wasn’t an official war dog and shared Wynne’s C-Rations, she remained healthy in spite of the primitive conditions in which the soldiers were living. Smoky also survived 12 air/sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions as well as a typhoon at Okinawa.0429 yorkie smoky f
During precious time off, Smoky was taught a lot of tricks by Wynne and entertained troops in hospitals from Australia to Korea. She is the first therapy dog of record. She first served as a therapy dog in July 1944 at the 233rd Station Hospital in New Guinea. She went with the nurses as they made their rounds, giving love and comfort to the patients. She even spent 5 nights sleeping in Wynne’s hospital bed! After the war, Smoky continued working as a therapy dog for 12 years.0429 yorkie smoky c

0429 yorkie smoky b


On February 21, 1957, Smoky passed away at the approximate age of 14. She was buried in a WWII .30 caliber ammo box in the Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation in Lakewood, Ohio. Almost 50 years later, on Veterans Day in November 2005, a bronze life-size sculpture of Smoky sitting in a GI helmet, atop a two-ton blue granite base, was unveiled there. It is placed above the very spot that Smoky was laid at her final resting place. The monument is dedicated to “Smoky, the Yorkie Doodle Dandy, and the Dogs of All Wars”.0429 yorkie smoky g

What a dog!!! Even as an-always-superior cat, I have to admit Smoky’s service impressed me!0429 yorkie smoky e


Since today is also Caturday Art, I thought I would lay a wreath at her monument/burial site.smoky


Thank you once again for joining me on our journey! Tomorrow is Sunday and April 30, which means, the final post of the month – it’s “Z” day!! I hope you are able to come back at least one more time!!! (I will be doing a ‘wrap-up’ post on Monday or Tuesday.)

goodbYe for now, love, TobY!!!