X is for …

0428Happy Friday everybody!!!!! Three days to go and that’ll be she wrote for this year’s Blogging A to Z Challenge! The last few letters are more difficult to get through than the rest of them and “X” is no exception. I searched and searched and finally found an “X” animal of note! Today, X is for Xanto

Xanto is a German Shepherd police dog that loves his job. 0428 xanto aHe is so protective of his partner, Deputy Kristen Garrett, that he is able to subdue suspects just by barking and bouncing around in the back of the police car, shaking it violently. The bad guys get a look at what Xanto is doing inside the car and they give up pretty quickly. The shepherd is so excited about working that he will push Kristen out of the way so he can start sniffing and searching.0428 xanto

Deputy Garrett, from Decatur, Alabama, adopted Xanto from Lackland Air Force Base and in 2015 had worked with him for 8 years.0428 xanto aa At 11-years-old now (in 2015) he was ready to retire. During his decade of work, he’s tracked Alzheimer’s patients and children. He only had to physically apprehend one subject in all those years – the rest he intimidated into giving up. 0428 xanto bXanto was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 2010 and is the only law enforcement animal to earn that status (at least as of 2015).

0428 xanto cWell done Xanto! We hope he has a long and happy retirement after all the years of putting his life in danger for his partner and the citizens of Decatur!

Well I guess X marks the spot here where it’s time to do Friday Fill-ins!! As always, my answers are in Orange and mom’s are in Pink!

1. A book I would like to see made into a movie is the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. I would like to see Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg made into a movie. It would be so fun!!

2. If I could afford a billboard, it would say “Adopt an Orange Cat!!!”  My billboard would say “Adopt a Shelter or Foster Cat!” or “Homeless kitties need YOU!” with a cat-Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer. 

 

3. I have a hard time saying no to fresh water flowing in the bathroom sink. I have a hard time going to bed every night. I’m a night owl with an early bird job. 

4. I really enjoy people-tuna but mom doesn’t serve it to me all that often (bad momma!) I really enjoy my days off when I don’t have anywhere to go and nothing important to do. I love to putter. And nap. And cuddle my kitties.

 

ellen_cat_badge_2-1 Take a look at other Fill-ins by going HERE and HERE! As always thanks Miss Ellen and McGuffy for hosting!!! And congrats on almost a whole year of fill-ins! It’s been a lot of fun!
Thanks for stopping bY – I’ll be back tomorrow with CaturdaY Art and it’s “Y” daY!! See You then!!!

I’ll be making my X-traordinary and X-special X-it now!!! XoXoXo, Toby

 

W is for…

0427Welcome to “W” Day!! Can you believe it’s been almost a Whole month already? Time certainly flies When you’re having fun!! Well, I have tWo critters for you, White elephants and Wilberforce!

 

White elephants were revered in Siam (now known as Thailand) as a lord or king. King Mongut of Siam received the gift of a white elephant in 1854. The elephant was treated very well – he lived in the king’s palace, wore gold rings on his tusks as well as golden chains and a gold crown. He also wore a special cloak of purple velvet with scarlet and gold fringe. This very special elephant had important officials, attendants and slaves to care for him. Wow! I wouldn’t have minded being a white elephant!

0427 White_Elephant0427 White-Elephant-Amarapura-myanmar

 

My next “W” is Wilberforce, the No. 10 Downing Street cat, who from 1973-1986 presided over the official London residence of the Prime Minister of England. Shortly after his arrival the resident mice ran for safer quarters and his job as official mouser was over. But he remained at 10 Downing through 4 different prime ministers, often basking in the sun on the front steps. Fans were unable to pet him because of security concerns but Wilberforce received bundles of Christmas cards throughout his life. 0427 10 downing wilberforce
There have been many 10 Downing Street cats but none seemed to catch the public’s attention the way Wilberforce did!

 

Here’s a list of the other Downing Street cats with photos if they’re available (if I got any wrong, don’t blame me, blame Wikipedia!):

Treasury Bill 1924 Prime Minister: Ramsay MacDonald

Peter 1929-1946 Prime Ministers: Stanley Baldwin, Ramsay MacDonald, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee

Munich Mouser 1937–40, 1943 Prime Ministers: Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill

Nelson 1940 Prime Minister: Winston Churchill

Peter 1941–46 Prime Ministers: Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee

Peter II 1946 Prime Minister: Clement Attlee

Peter III 1946-1964 Prime Ministers: Clement Attlee, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home

Peta 1964-1976 Prime Ministers: Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath

Wilberforce 1973-1988 Prime Ministers: Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher

Humphrey 1989-1997 Prime Ministers: Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair

 

Sybil 2007-2009 Prime Minister: Gordon Brown0427 ten downing sybil

 

Larry 2011-Current Prime Ministers: David Cameron, Theresa May

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Freya 2012-2014 Prime Minister: David Cameron0427 ten downing freya

 

I also have to give a shout-out to Gladstone, he’s the Chief Mouser at Her Majesty’s Treasury Office.0427 ten downing gladstone

 

Also of interest is Palmerston who is the Chief Mouser at the Finance Office. He was recruited from the Battersea Cat and Dogs Home at the age of one in 2016 (he recently celebrated his 2nd birthday) and in the past year has brought home 26 mice and a large rat. His minders say that’s an estimate because he also eats what he catches! Palmerston also has a Twitter following and whenever foreign diplomats are in the office many of them want to meet him and have their photo taken with him. 0427 ten downing palmerstonWith all these fans, however, he has at least one enemy. Down the street from where his home is lives Larry, the #10 Downing Street mouser. The two of them have been caught on film fighting several times. I guess each wants to be the Alpha cat of government service! Here is a link to a recent news article about him that includes a short video: Go HERE.

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed “W” day! I’ll be back tomorrow with “X”!

Cheerio! Toby

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.

Tiddles

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”!!