Tag Archives: Outside Cats

03/31/2017 – Around Colehaus

A spot of sun! No, really! Finally we can peek at what’s going on around Colehaus, other than to watch our Pacific Northwet “liquid sunshine” falling from the skies. We’re on track to set another month’s record of rain here and we just might do it by midnight tonight.

Outside, our pretty primroses are blooming. Dad always asks, “Tell me, when AREN’T primroses blooming?”

Spring Primroses - © Colehaus.com

Spring Primroses – © Colehaus.com

When nearly everyone else’s bulbs have already bloomed around the country, our grape hyacinths are the first bulbs blooming here.

Grape Hyacinths - © Colehaus.com

Grape Hyacinths – © Colehaus.com

Somewhat near the grape hyacinths, neighbor cats Z and Scruffy discuss the weather, as all cats do. We imagine their conversation went something like this:

Z: “So, it’s not raining at the moment.”
Scruffy: “Can’t get nothing past you, can we?”
Z: “Well, I mention it because while my butt isn’t wet, the rock I’m sitting on is still cold on the bits, if you catch my drift.”
Scruffy: “. . . . .”

Z and Scruffy discussing the odd lack of rain - © Colehauscats.com

Z and Scruffy discussing the odd lack of rain – © Colehauscats.com

Meanwhile, Mom was so inspired by our day of dry weather, she cleaned up the strawberry baskets and found new leaves coming out.

Strawberry plants coming up - © Colehaus.com

Strawberry plants coming up – © Colehaus.com

The squirrel we call Tilt (because he has a head tilt) isn’t so sure Mom should have removed all the dead strawberry foliage. Word has it squirrels are avid gardeners when not raiding bird feeders, so they should know.

The squirrel named Tilt - © Colehauscats.com

The squirrel named Tilt – © Colehauscats.com

Our Star Magnolia is bursting with white flower buds. After years of living in gloom, half-hidden behind a big birch tree that was removed two years ago, this magnolia has blossomed into a real beauty (pun intended).

Star Magnolia buds - © Colehaus.com

Star Magnolia buds – © Colehaus.com

Remember back in January, when we mentioned we saw a new cat in our backyard? Mom called it Teese because, well, only she understands her misspelling, and slowly, Teese started trusting Mom. Now, Teese is at the feeding station most mornings waiting for the food bowls to be set out.

Teese in the feeding station - © Colehauscats.com

Teese in the feeding station – © Colehauscats.com

And look who’s become an outside friend!

Sweet Teese is a talker - © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese is a talker – © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese likes Dad - © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese likes Dad – © Colehauscats.com

Mom’s pretty sure Sweet Teese is a spayed girl but then again, she’s been known to be wrong half the time. She’s also pretty sure Teese has a home on the next street over down the hill, and when the weather warms up and dries out, she’ll take a walk down there to ask around.

BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!

Old raccoon (Happy?) returns - © Colehauscats.com

Old raccoon (Happy?) returns – © Colehauscats.com

Forgive us for the poor photo. This is the best picture we’ve yet to capture of an old, but somewhat-speedy raccoon who is staying in one of our heated feral shelters. Can you see it there on the fence behind the evergreens?

Mom and Dad both have seen an old raccoon hanging around for the past few weeks, eating from one of the feeding stations during the day, in the pouring rain, something that is a bit unusual for a raccoon around here. It doesn’t act sick, it just looks old and clearly, it’s hungry.

Upon a single closer look last week, we think it might be partially blind, yet it knew directly where to go for food. And this pleases us.

Background info: We’ve been setting food out in our side yard during daylight hours since 2005, and we’ve been aware of recognizable raccoons, ones with distinctive markings or behaviors, returning year after year since 2012. Could this be Happy, the raccoon mama who brought her three babies to meet us in 2013? It could be. Happy had a darker raccoon mask than any other raccoon we’d ever seen, with significantly less white/grey on her face. She had a very, very pointy nose. And her tail was never full and puffy like typical raccoon tails are, and with her darker fur, the rings on her tail were very faint.

This raccoon is almost completely dark faced, has a sharply pointed nose, and has a thin furred tail. If this is Happy, she is the daughter of Sunny who, in 2013 along with her three babies, were the very first raccoons we’d ever seen during daylight hours. One of her babies was very dark compared to the other two. We named that one Happy.

In 2014, Happy returned with her three babies, one we called Lily who returned with her three babies and with Happy in tow in 2015, making Happy a grandmother.

Happy became a great grandmother last year when one of Lily’s babies whom we called Daisy, returned with her two babies.

In the wild, raccoons only survive between one and three years. We never know if we’ll have raccoons come visit us at all because a few people in our neighborhood feel the need to go on “raccoon relocation” forays. This raccoon somehow must have been spared that horror and we are so thankful we have a kind of sanctuary for it here. Here, this raccoon, be it Happy or not, will be safe with a warm shelter, food, and water for as long as it likes. That said, the neighborhood greenspace with tall native trees, a creek, and open access for animals is a quarter mile down the hill and this is, undoubtedly, where Happy and her extensive family normally resides.

We fully understand this is a wild animal and will conduct ourselves accordingly. There will be no attempts at petting, brushing, or feeding of snacks from fingers we wish to keep intact. We won’t try to pose the raccoon with toys, try to entice it to play with a feather wand, or make it wear a hat. We will however, keep working toward capturing a better photo of this raccoon while following all safety precautions.

Lastly, let’s take another look at Sweet Teese, because she isn’t wild, the camera seems to like her, and simply because we can.

Sweet Teese - © Colehauscats.com

Sweet Teese – © Colehauscats.com

01/27/2017 – Around Colehaus

The Big Melt - © Colehaus.com

The Big Melt – © Colehaus.com

Our big ten-day stretch of snow and ice came to an end last weekend and we’re back to our usual rainy Pacific Northwest winter with patches of bright sunshine and cold east winds tossed in for the amusement of those who like it like that. We’re fans of rain and cold but up to a point. Around the first of March, Mom gets antsy to get spring cleanup underway and looks forward to working in dirt, opposed to mud.

Before our batches of snow, this winter brought a new visitor to Colehaus. One day, Mom looked out the back door and there, walking under the bird feeders was this kitty.

Stray (?) Teese - © Colehauscats.com

Stray (?) Teese – © Colehauscats.com

Naturally, Mom grabbed the camera and went out to call to it and it dashed away. A couple of days later, she saw it again, stepping out from behind the huge arborvitae and from the kitchen window, she clicked more photos. Only one of those photos turned out and as soon as the kitty saw Mom at the window, again, it darted away. Mom has started to call this kitty Teese. We told her she was spelling it wrong but she said for us grammar police to stop picking on her. O-Kay…

The tease Teese - © Colehauscats.com

The tease Teese – © Colehauscats.com

She’s seen Teese at the feeding station twice since, once during a snow storm, and one other time around the secluded feral shelter on the other side of the yard. Mom knows someone is staying overnight in that shelter but she doesn’t know who.

Z comfortable at her shelter - © Colehauscats.com

Z comfortable at her shelter – © Colehauscats.com

Zoey, or Z as we’re going to start calling her here for privacy reasons, weathered the bitter cold, snow, and ice great in the other feral shelter located under our back porch steps. She doesn’t always get breakfast outside the heated shelter but this was a particularly chilly day and she was being extra adorable.

Snowcat Z - © Colehauscats.com

Snowcat Z – © Colehauscats.com

She now wears a collar with a sensor for an automated food bowl her real humans set up. Apparently, the neighborhood raccoons were lining up each evening for dinner and probably getting spit all over the kibble and Z’s owner finally said enough of that. We know raccoons aren’t usually tolerant of cats and sometimes, not even with themselves, but we are fortunate in that the raccoons who visit Colehaus have all, but one, been kind and well-mannered. That one, well, Mom keeps a broom handy for the next time she sees him again!

Someone Mom still has a like/dislike relationship with is Z’s older brother W, who continues his hunting streak.

W out hunting -  © Colehauscats.com

W out hunting – © Colehauscats.com

W has been teaching Z to hunt birds and Mom won’t have it any longer. So, after sixteen years of buying quality bird seed, she’s giving up feeding the birds. Once our stored seed runs out in February, she’s taking down the bird feeder. She’ll leave the suet cage up for the woodpeckers and the nyger thistle sock up until spring but after that, all she’s providing is fresh water from the big fountain and shelter in all the trees. She know she’ll still have bird bits to clean up from time-to-time, and then, there’s that whole baby bunny season coming up way too fast, but she says there’s no reason to be feeding birds only to have them feed the neighborhood cats.

Dad says he’s going to miss the birds but Mom reminds him he’s not the one who has to clean up the mess. Yeah, well, there is that.

Here’s a final few shots of birds we’re going to miss seeing:

Native Ringneck Dove - © Colehauscats.com

Native Ringneck Dove – © Colehauscats.com

Ringneck Dove - © Colehauscats.com

Ringneck Dove – © Colehauscats.com

Varied Thrush - © Colehauscats.com

Varied Thrush – © Colehauscats.com

We do live one block away from a big greenspace with pasture land beyond that. Most of our visiting birds come from there and undoubtedly, will still visit to drink and bath from the fountain. They won’t be out of food or shelter from their natural habitat. It’ll be an adjustment for them and for us and it will be for the better.

W hunting again - © Colehauscats.com

W hunting again – © Colehauscats.com

01/18/2017 – Happy 5th Blogoversary, Us!

Five years! Who knew we’d still be here five years after Dad offhandedly suggested Mom post photos of our cats somewhere as a way to honor those who had passed and because the Internet didn’t have enough cat photos?

Mom published the first Colehaus Cats post on January 19th 2012* using a free WordPress theme over the use of several other frustrating blogging software options. Seeing angel Maxx’s photo finally posted out to the world convinced her Dad’s comment was the best idea ever.

Colehaus Cats - Maxx 2010. © Colehaus Cats

Maxx. © Colehaus Cats

The first blog post was titled “Meet the Colehaus Cats – Maxx, the Innocent.” That was an inside joke because Maxx was known more for being Maxx, the Troublesome Nipper Who Regularly Draws Blood and Who Doesn’t Understand the Physics of Possessing a Weighty Big Butt While Always Failing at Jumping Across Big Expanses of Empty Space and Therefore, Makes a Mess.

Thankfully, Mom shortened that post title.

Then, Mom tried to create a header. She cringes when she sees her original Colehaus Cats blog headers. Here’s a few of them from that first year in 2012.

Then, Mom got the bright idea that maybe one of the actual Colehaus Cats ought to be on the header, not some cute, but random cat photo stolen from the Internet. Yes, our Mom stole a photo once from the Internet without figuring out who created it. Ex-feral, angel Cameron was her first choice, followed by one featuring angel Zooot, and then angel Seth.

Original Colehaus Cats blog header with angel Cameron - © Colehauscats.com

Original Colehaus Cats blog header with angel Cameron – © Colehauscats.com

Original Colehaus Cats blog header featuring angel Zooot - © Colehauscats.com

Original Colehaus Cats blog header featuring angel Zooot – © Colehauscats.com

Original Colehaus Cats blog header featuring angel Seth - © Colehauscats.com

Original Colehaus Cats blog header featuring angel Seth – © Colehauscats.com

That last one was from when Mom was in her Peach phase. She was under the impression blog colors needed to change with the season, so the peach header was followed by a pale blue one, then soft pink, and finally, light green. You might remember those days. Eventually, she got over that.

All told, Mom posted three separate Meet the Colehaus Cats entries that first day introducing Maxx, Seth, Cameron, and Zooot. Later in the month, before Mom figured out a regular blog post schedule, she told an audience of one a little about each cat’s personality.

Maxx in a Hat. © Colehaus Cats.

Where’s that rabbit? Maxx in a Hat. © Colehaus Cats.

She almost quit our blog a time or two, most notably after Zooot passed quickly followed by Cameron in April and June 2012. A first commenter, Baby Patches from Nip and Bones helped Mom feel she wasn’t posting to a big, black void. Jan from Jan’s Funny Farm was the second commenter following Mom’s discovery of the wonderful world of The Cat Blogosphere who brought so many commenters to welcome baby Pia.

The rest, well, most of you know how the rest of the years have gone. We’ve had a blast, we’ve laughed and cried, and we’ve vowed to find ways to help pets in need, inspired by the work of many of you.

Most of all, we’ll always cherish the memories how other pet-loving people found us and encouraged us to keep going via their own blogs by posting great, timely information and tips, a spectacular photo or set of photos, and hundreds of warm, from-the-heart posts. We continued to feel encouraged during a long questionable time after Mom was publicly shamed by a longtime friend at a science fiction convention in May 2014 for running a cat blog. Thank you for your supportive and positive emails.

The Stats

We still post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Some kitties have left us and more kitties have joined us. We care for and feed our development’s feral, stray, and abandoned kitties (and squirrels and raccoons, too). Since blogging, we’ve gone from four cats to six, then seven followed by eight and once for a few months, a high cat count of thirteen (with Zuzu and all Niblets). Some years we take in fosters, and we don’t mind admitting we’re suckers for adding fosters to our family. Who wouldn’t when presented with these faces?

Former fosters Tessa, Ruby, Zuzu, Viola, Sunny - © Colehauscats.com

Former fosters Tessa, Ruby, Zuzu, Viola, Sunny – © Colehauscats.com

For a while, we had a cat web cam and Mom sometimes misses it even though it wouldn’t stream live.

First Colehaus Cat webcam photo - © Colehaus Cats

First Colehaus Cat webcam photo – © Colehaus Cats

Dad took over posting for four summer months in 2015 when Mom was going out of town to writing conventions a lot. We love our cats and are very much in tune with each other and the needs and desires of each Colehaus Cat so we hoped no one noticed the difference in posting styles from Mom to Dad.

We’ve published 903 posts over the past five years and received 19,376 comments total in that time frame. The most viewed post (1,169 views) was just after the birth of The Niblets. Our About page is the most viewed page (1,252 views).

Mom’s personal stats show the shortest amount of time she spent creating a blog post was four minutes. She might have been showing off. The longest time spent creating a post was seventy-three hours, give or take an hour. Obviously, this was not continuously working time otherwise, Mom would have gone bonkers. Wouldn’t have been the first time.

Since 2012, we’ve met five Cat Blogosphere bloggers in person and have heard from close to one hundred others. We’ve held four raffles and have won four raffles. That’s evened out nicely.

Here’s some of our favorite posts and photos over the years:

Dad’s Little Girl Newton. 2012 © Colehaus Cats.

Dad’s Newton

Miss Newton and Seth - 2012 © Colehauscats.com

Miss Newton and Seth – 2012 © Colehauscats.com

Seth and Green Apple. © Colehaus Cats.

Seth and Green Apple. © Colehaus Cats.

Olivia's Snake Toy.

Getting Her Spit All Over It – 2012 – 2016 © Colehaus Cats.

Serious Pia.

Pia relaying her side of the conversation. August 2012. © Colehaus Cats.

Bug Battles – The Two Sides

What Tessa wanted to do to the V-E-T’s fingers – – 2013 © Colehaus Cats

Don’t Just Get Mad; Get Tessa Mad!

Minding his own business – 2013 © Colehaus Cats

Maxx TV

Shopping at Craft Warehouse for art supplies – 2013 © Colehaus Cats

Ruby’s Tower – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

First Niblet for Erinn Zuzu – 2013 © Colehaus Cats

BREAKING NEWS! It’s baby Niblet time!

“There’s no treats in here!” – 2014 © Colehaus Cats

Conversation with Dad – 2015 © Colehauscats.com

Spitty's Place feral shelter - 2015-2016 © Colehauscats.com

Spitty’s Place feral shelter – 2015-2016 © Colehauscats.com

Welcome Itty, a very special Ginger girl - 2016 © Colehauscats.com

Welcome Itty, a very special Ginger girl – 2016 © Colehauscats.com

We hope we’ve been good bloggers over the years. We always welcome comments and suggestions, and we love hearing directly from you.

Thank you for finding us, for reading us, and for sometimes commenting. We’re big blog lurkers ourselves from time-to-time and we don’t mind lurkers here.

Thank you for visiting us. It might seem that we say that a lot but we mean it from our hearts every single time.

Thank you for helping us celebrate today and for celebrating all the Colehaus Cats!

*we know we’re one day short of the official Blogoversary day. We’re cutting ourselves a bit of slack here.