Category Archives: OtRB

01/01/2018 – A Look Back at our 2017

Happy 2018 - ©

Happy 2018 – ©

Happy New Year! Happy 2018! We hope you’re looking forward to 2018 as we are and that you celebrated, or are still celebrating, ringing in the new year. Before we jump ahead, we want to apologize for the length of this post and thank you for visiting. 2017 tossed a lot our way – wild happiness and sorrow, smiles and delight and of course, visits to and from you, our friends of Colehaus.

Olivia's watching you - ©

Olivia’s watching you – ©

January 2017 began with our 2016 recap (and what a year that was!), and smoothly slid into tiny winter biscuits, the search for sun amid snow and ice, a 5 year blogoversary recap (whew!), a new visiting kitty, and ended with a Russell Niblet update.

Guess the trouble - ©

Guess the trouble – ©

February saw the bottom of “things,” a sunny update on Sunny, cats on high (again), Monday musings, and Friday Fun. Oh, and Mom started French classes, of which we still don’t understand why.

Sunny and Tessa (in box) - ©

Sunny and Tessa (in box) – ©

Spring weather finally popped up in March but only after more cold nights alongside even MORE RAIN. We had grumpy cats and broken promises, Friday Fun days and a Friday Flub day. March ended with a first 2017 Around Colehaus post with first flowers, first spring cat conversations, first sighting in a long time of old raccoon Happy, and a first contact with stray cat Teese (and you all remember how awesome that ended, right?).

Ruby's marble toes - ©

Ruby’s marble toes – ©

April showers bring May flowers… or in our case, brought even more showers. April 2017 was one of the rainiest months our area had seen in years. So what’s a houseful of cats to do? We had Friday Fun days, Quint painted a bit, and Sunny had another update. We saw toesies and destruction and a weird bird, flowers and old raccoon Happy and we learned more about stray cat Teese. It was a very full month!

Patrol Sergeant Sunny - ©

Patrol Sergeant Sunny – ©

May started with orange and ended with black and white. In between we discovered old girls still play, Viola learned camera skills, and Olivia handed out a life lesson, Ruby made herself understood, and a Patrol Sergeant passed the baton to another. Please have your papers in order.

Time for napping - ©

Time for napping – ©

June. What can one say about June other than it started off icky and got worse. Household things seemed to break left and right. The weather was less than cooperative. Our fountain quit working. So, we took the month off from blogging. Was it the right thing to do? Well, it seemed good at the time.

Chunky - 2017 ©

Chunky – 2017 ©

A bit later than originally planned, July found us deep in the cat days of summer (hush you, who call it dog days). We had flowers for the briefest of brief period of time before the sun scorched them all, more new visiting strays showed up including the next generation of baby raccoons and that other stray, the Cat That is Not Ours, made themselves way, way comfortably at home. We pondered what we did over our summer “vacation,” found a way to lump together a bunch of miscellaneous photos, got our fountain running again, and said goodbye to one visiting stray… whom, we later learned, was adopted by a wealthy woman who fell in love with big Chunky upon first sight.

Curious baby raccoon, 2017 - ©

Curious baby raccoon, 2017 – ©

Our August was the hottest, driest, and smokiest on record, something that just isn’t normal for the Pacific Northwest. We closed up the house and ran air conditioning and humidifiers nonstop and still, cats had coughs, one had a nosebleed, another stopped eating, and we were all fairly miserable. Through it all, baby raccoons and outdoor cat Teese kept us entertained, as did Pia’s fur clipping escapade. August ended with a kidney disease diagnosis for Miss Newton and good news of Teese being accepted into our local no-kill shelter.

Sweet Teese - ©

Sweet Teese – ©

September was still grumpy and hot but we found joy in things like cherries and flashbacks, and then, Teese was officially adopted! No more smoky outdoor air for Teese. The raccoons were practically living in our fountain by this time. And then, autumn finally arrived and before we knew what was happening, sweet mama Zuzu crashed from renal failure and left us to run scampery-fast and free at the forever summerlands beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

Zuzu, mid-September 2017 - ©

Zuzu, mid-September 2017 – ©

Still reeling from the loss of Zuzu, October brought a much needed and appreciated mountain of kind words, thoughts and prayers, cards, email, hugs, love, and understanding. We also found solace in one of the outdoor strays, whom we started calling Pretty Boy Mac for his big, round apple-shaped Macintosh head, and who started to show trust. Inside, there were bossy cats and lucky cats, brave cats and multi-cats. There were reacting cats, napping cats, a bad cat, and costumed cats. We’re pretty sure that last group had nothing to do with that bad cat.

And in between all that, Dad had an accident with his car and our hot water heater and our kitchen wall, and well, Mom didn’t want to say anything about it at the time, and really, who could blame her?

Ex-garage door, cabinet, house foundation, and car - ©

Ex-garage door, cabinet, house foundation, and car – ©

Between a car and a house, the house always wins - ©

Between a car and a house, the house always wins – ©

November started off so well. Behind the scenes, our house damage was almost fixed from Dad’s accident and we had hot water once again when he had a second accident with his newly “repaired” car. This time, in the blink of an eye, he accidently drove through the garage door and smashed into the corner of our house. The cats and Mom both agree that was the loudest noise they had ever heard, even louder than Tessa and Viola during one of their fights. This time, Dad’s car was a goner and because new house repairs required Mom to be on her toes 24/7 with contractors and phone calls, insurance adjusters and car research, this blog was on lightweight/sparse duty for the rest of the month…

Lap Nappin' Pretty Boy Mac - ©

Lap Nappin’ Pretty Boy Mac – ©

… until the fifteenth of December when most of the repairs from Dad’s second accident were finished and Mom could think straight once more. All along however, Mom had been working outside with Pretty Boy Mac to up his social skills. When our night temperatures dropped down into the teens and looked to stay there for a while, Mom brought Mac inside and as luck would have it, a dear friend who loves big-cheeked boys came to visit, fell for him, and adopted him a few days later.

We’re reminded of Christmas miracles we’ve witnessed in the past and we feel this continued in 2017 for Mac and Teese, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Colehaus, our friends and visitors like you. You helped make possible the adoption and vetting care for both Teese and Mac, and the feeding and warm housing of our area ferals and strays, the cold, outdoor-only neighbor cats, and the occasional happy old raccoon.

Because you helped us get through a tough year, we owe you so much gratitude and love. We’re looking forward to what 2018 will bring and wish for you all a fabulous New Year filled with joy, happiness, and excitement. And most of all, peace and love. Happy New Year!

Thank you for visiting. Thank you for reading us. Comments and suggestions for this blog are always welcome!
– The folks of Colehaus Cats

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A Colehaus Cats flashback:

2016 – A 2015 Recap and Happy 2016!
2015 – No post
2014 – Happy 2014 and a 2013 Recap
2013 – No post
2012 – No post

10/04/2017 – Thank You

From the very center of our being, we thank you all for your kind words, your thoughts and prayers, your cards and graphics, your perfect poems and quotes, your hugs, gentle headbonks and woooos and comforting purrs, and for your love and understanding. Thank you for stopping by and reading our words, written when our hearts were raw and broken over Zuzu’s very, very sudden illness, diagnosis, and passing. We are healing because of your kindness. Thank you.

Please hug your kitties. In Zuzu’s memory, hug them as soon as you can. She’d like that.

Zuzu, photo taken September 2013 - ©

Zuzu, photo taken September 2013 – ©

Zuzu, 2009-2017. Never forgotten. Thank you, Ann.

Zuzu, 2009-2017. Never forgotten.

Zuzu, Treasured Forever, 2009-2017. Thank you, friends.

Zuzu, Treasured Forever, 2009-2017.

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Viola is 4! - ©

Viola is 4! – ©

We’re celebrating a bittersweet 4th birthday with Viola and her Niblet siblings today. Sweet Viola, we know your angel mama Zuzu is very proud of you and your independence, and that you will continue to make her proud in the years to come. A million kisses to you, and to all the Niblet kittens far and wide. Happy Birthday, dear loves.

Viola on her naming day, October 2013 -  ©

Viola on her naming day, October 2013 – ©

Mama Zuzu with baby Viola, 2013 - © Colehaus Cats

Mama Zuzu with baby Viola, 2013 – © Colehaus Cats

Littlest Niblet Viola – 2013 © Colehaus Cats

A cuppa Viola, October 2013 - ©

A cuppa Viola, October 2013 – ©

I'm becoming a big girl, Viola says - 2014 © Colehaus Cats

I’m becoming a big girl, Viola says – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

Insistent Viola – 2015 – ©

Viola - 2016 ©

Viola – 2016 ©

That Viola always has something to say, Sept 2017 - ©

That Viola always has something to say, Sept 2017 – ©

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In celebration of Viola’s 4th birthday, please enjoy this online 60-piece jigsaw puzzle courtesy of

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A Colehaus Cats flashback:

2016 – No post
2015 – No post
2014 – No post
2013 – BREAKING NEWS! It’s baby Niblet time!
2012 – No post

09/29/2017 – Zuzu and Our Hearts

Love Bug Zuzu in the morning - ©

Love Bug Zuzu in the morning – ©

We apologize for not being a bright, positive spot on the Internet today.

Former foster, happy-go-lucky sweetheart, mama to Viola and all Niblet babies, Pixie bobtail ginger girl, and the very best bed cat to wake up to each morning, Zuzu (Erinn) Niblet suddenly went into previously undetected renal failure last weekend. No amount of fluids administered or syringe feedings or vet care could help, no amount of snuggles or brushies or kisses or sweet nothings whispered in her ears would help. When just last week, she brought smiles to our faces and delighted us with her daily scampering up and down the stairs, sitting on Mom’s lap during tea time each morning, and patiently waited to be carried into the master bedroom suite she shared with us and Ruby each night, now a ragged hole resides in place of our hearts.

Zuzu, lethargic and near comatose, was beyond saving, and while we held and cuddled her at 3:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon, in a beautiful, quiet room, she passed on to run scampery-fast and free at the warm, forever summerlands beyond the Rainbow Bridge, where we will meet again, someday, to snuggle once more, and for ever.

We love you, Zuzu, our sweet mama Niblet, our Mama Bun. We are so sorry we couldn’t help and so sorry we couldn’t have had more years together. Thank you for giving all of us Viola. We promise to take good care of her. We will never, ever forget you, our dearest Zuzu. Until we meet again… just love, all our love.

Mom and Dad
Written Monday evening, September 25, 2017

Zuzu’s first photos at Colehaus – 2013 ©

Erinn Zuzu and her Niblets – 2013 © Colehaus Cats

Our bobtail girls Zuzu and Viola – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

Hey, my name’s on this! – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

Serious play time – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

Zuzu Bee 2014 – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

Zuzu and her Dad – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

Mama Zuzu – ©

Conversation with Dad – 2015 ©

*slurp* – 2016 ©

Zuzu's blanket - ©

Zuzu’s blanket – ©

Zuzu's Ring o' Sleepytime - ©

Zuzu’s Ring o’ Sleepytime – ©

Napping Zuzu, mid September 2017 - ©

Napping Zuzu, mid September 2017 – ©

Napping is exhausting, mid September 2017 - ©

Napping is exhausting, mid September 2017 – ©

Last photo taken of Zuzu, September 20, 2017 - ©

Last photo taken of Zuzu, September 20, 2017 – ©

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A Colehaus Cats flashback:

2016 – No post
2015 – Ruby Tuesday
2014 – Pillow Dreams
2013 – No post
2012 – No post