Thursday, December 31, 2015


An owl was hooting near my window before dawn this morning. It was a cold, raw, dreary, misty day. 

The unseasonable warmth has vanished. 73 degrees (Fahrenheit) last week, 38 degrees today. I savored the warmth, but somehow the frigid change is a festive accent on this New Year's Eve.

It's just after 4:30 p.m. as I'm writing this and it's already nearly dark. My trio of cats are sleeping. A peaceful respite.
My plans for tonight? I'll welcome the new year with solitude and a midnight dinner by candlelight. Alaskan salmon.
The glorious New Year's Eves of my past are gone. I was going to write about some of them but will save it for a future post.

I have no intention of summarizing the events of this past year, but I'll give a brief recap of this week:

Drove into town on Tuesday and stocked up on groceries.

That's it. Blissfully brief.

 Scratch (also known as Kitzee)

The only other excitement was generated by my 10 yr. old cat Scratch. She's the oldest of my feline brood and was exclusively an indoor cat. Lately however, I've been letting her outside to get fresh air and exercise. She was getting overweight and had asthma, but her health has greatly improved since she's been romping outdoors.

Unfortunately, her personality has changed for the worst. Ever since gaining her newly-found freedom she never wants to come inside. And she's become demanding and rude. I've created a monster.

Yesterday I completed a project that I've been wanting to do for a long time: I enclosed the underside of the back porch. It was very easy for wild creatures to get under there (that's where the 'possum used to live) and I didn't like it.

It took me over an hour to completely seal it, but it was snug tight - nothing could get under the porch now. I was relieved.....

.....until I heard scratching sounds and muffled grunts of frustration coming from beneath the porch.

You guessed it. Scratch was under there, completely sealed in. I was almost tempted to leave her there permanently, but eventually I painstakingly pried out the nails and removed one of the panels to let her out.

Deja vu
A few months ago, the same thing happened to Scruffy, when I accidentally sealed her under the house after checking the water pipes. I vowed that it would never happen again. 

 Scruffy, looking deceptively innocent
I named her Scruffy because I initially thought she was a boy. My observant cousin told me "He's a female".....Heck, what do I know?

Want another cat story?
Waddaya mean, "no"?
This afternoon I let Scratch outside, while I ate lunch. I normally never eat lunch, but I had some smoked ham and Swiss cheese so I thought I'd make a sandwich. 

I'm halfway through the sandwich when I hear frantic scratching at the back door. I open it and Scratch runs in making frightening guttural sounds. I think she's dying. 

She runs around the house growling, then quickly drops a mouse at my feet. She brought the damn thing in from outside!

The rodent was still living and I felt sorry for it's plight. I scooped it up and took it back outside - far from the house. 

My two female cats, Scratch and Scruffy, provide all the excitement around here. Bosco, the male, is timid, polite, and well-behaved. Well, all except for the time he jumped on my head when I was sleeping and accidentally bashed my face (that was recounted in a previous blog post).


I'm going to take a brief nap before making my midnight dinner and ushering in the new year.

I want to thank all the kind people who take the time to read my blog. It's rewarding to know that my efforts are appreciated....or at least politely tolerated.

Have a fantastic 2016!  


  1. HNY 2016 to you and the cats, jon! thank you for your friendship! salmon for midnight dinner sounds FABU!

  2. Wishing you and your feline herd a peaceful and happy New Year.

  3. A fine recap of the week, Jon, and my recollection of your past year has been interesting and well-told. Thank you. Your cat-related porch adjustments move me as well --I found a frightened adolescent kitten in our cold yard this morning and set out a saucer of warm milk for him but he was too scared to approach. I hope he finds a home as comfy and caring as yours. So impressed with your top photo --the trees and sunlight combine into an effect close to a stained glass window. A fine year-end post and I wish you all good things this coming year.

  4. I'm so glad I found your blog this year. Please keep blogging I do so enjoy hearing all about your adventures in life past and present. Your New Years celebration sounds lovely btw. Enjoy your evening and kitties. May your 2016 be a great one! Happy New Year Jon! ((Hugs))

  5. Your candlelit feast at midnight sounds splendid, Jon!

    Ours will be pleasantly low-key ... thankful for growing beyond (and having survived!) all the artificial camaraderie that comes with many NYE celebrations.
    I do believe, you've discovered something much richer.
    Happy New Year, m'friend!

  6. Happy New Year Jon!!! I'm sitting here all by myself listening to fireworks down the street. This is the first New Year’s Eve that some of the children hasn't been here. The husband goes to bed early so I don't think I will stay up and ring in the New. Your midnight meal sounds delicious. Take care. Jean

  7. Happy New Year Handsome!!! Sounds like a good New Year plan to me! And your cats are most certainly entertaining. Those cats have such personality if I ever did see. Scratch alone shoud keep you on your toes. Happiest wished for the New Year.

  8. You and I are alike in that we rely on our respective three cats to bring some 'excitements' into our lives, some of which we'd rather do without. E.g. last night for the first time, my Noodles, instead of using the litter tray, did a messy 'stinky' right on the carpet about two feet away from it. First time he's done that. Still, I suppose I'd rather have that than have to deal with a still partly-alive mouse, but only marginally.

    Have a fine 1st of Jan, Jon. (Jan - Jon - Jan - Jon....) but, even more importantly, have a wonderful year - if fate will allow you.

    1. Ray,
      I'm sure you have some good cat stories of your own to tell. We're waiting!

    2. Surprisingly maybe, but not really, Ron. However, will think about wheedling something out.

  9. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2016!

  10. Happy New Year! Since I am living your "other life" here in L.A., I walked a block last night to the Dragonfly Club and celebrated with a bunch of guys (and my guy) at "Bearracuda". A very different evening than yours, but was it? (Perhaps we are truly alternate versions of the same person!) Hoping you have a good start of the year.

    1. Tony,
      Two weeks from today, the Pat and Ron Show will be in LA. We both hope to see you then Tony!

  11. Jon,

    Wishing you and your cats a grand 2016, free of 'possums beneath the porch. Yes, the cat was giving you a bidding 2015 gift of the mouse. Cats can be so thoughtful sometimes.


    1. Lar,
      And you sir, more cat stories too. I still remember that one that ended with cat footprints in the cake icing. You have to tell that story again.

  12. Jon,
    What a wonderful way to begin the New Year, reading three cat stories. I LOVE cat stories. Each cat has its own personalty. I find it very interesting that Scratch, after being and indoor cat for so many years now has the freedom of outside. Maybe to her being an inside cat was like being in prison (hate to use such a harsh term as "prison" but couldn't think of another with my limited vocabulary). And of course anytime a cat brings you a "tribute" (like a half dead mouse), they are returning the favor of you taking care of them, or in other words "paying the rent." I'm like you, I would have taken that mouse far and away from the house. At my Mom's place, the "tributes" were chipmunks and voles.
    Have a very happy New Year Jon and keep those cat stories coming!

  13. Sorry Jon, I haven't been online much and only just catching up now. I'm pleased that your managed to "untomb" Scratch! All the best for 2015. Your solitary candle lit supper sounds just the ticket!


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