Mica has something to confess to you, Stella. He typed this out earlier as a surprise to cheer me up, thinking that if Stella could write like anycat's business, then surely he could knock off a six-toed missive or two (or six)! Of course his reasons were not entirely free from self-interest (when--ever-- is a cat's doings entirely untainted by a whisker's breadth of the thought of self?) Yes, Stella, you've been remiss, but remember, he had to apologize in some catly way; Mica did a very bad thing earlier tonight, and he knew full well that turning his toes to type-tapping would be THE way to change my stern looks into fluffy Maine Coon coos of delight. So pardon the long introduction (and Mica’s short conclusion), and here is Mica's concatenation of a confession—that barrel-striped rascal:

Mica with bear in basket

Mrrrawww, Stella! I am glad to hear that you are yet well fed. Since my own Uprighter, SD, hadn't regaled me with any feline tails of you recently, I was beginning to wonder if you had in fact hightailed it off to a life on those very streets your Two Legs has protected you from for so long! I must confess, though I did not have a career as a homeless stray in mind, tonight, for the first time ever, I tried to slip out, just as SD was just coming in from doing that nasty habit out front (the one that involves putting in her mouth a paper cylinder with a pretty red end I’d like to chase-- but all those disgusting sooty clouds emanating from it and from her mouth, like a dragon's!) And the dragon breath she gets from this, and knows I don’t like, so I make sure she washes her mouth properly at the sink, while I sit and watch, and wait for her to make a pool with her hand, and give me my drink of water from the faucet. I think your Two Legs does something similar when he goes outside--they both need to check that habit at the door! Oh…the door, right. Sorry Stella, I do tend to go awn and awn, like my girl SD, but perhaps I’d better tell you about a couple of doors before I get to this one, so you can feel more how the wind runs through my whiskers…

Mind you, Stella, my life has been as short as the unnaturally attractive thumbs I sport in triumph on my front paws—I am little more than a year old. I can, however, tell you a little bit about “OUT THERE,” as I think of it now that I am a City Inside Cat: I was born on what my Uprighter calls “The Six-Toed Cat Farm,” which is really just a Fallbrook country home where an older female Uprighter called Concetta lives in a series of box-like structures with clay pots and beds full of tasty grasses and plants, and some trees surrounding a large series of patios cool in summer. Concetta has a tall cage patched with chickenwire, and all of us felines were herded or coaxed in at night to sleep and eat, though we had food available during the day (dry bits, my favorite, though SD gives me nice wet food, too). My brothers and sisters, and cousins and cousins toppled over one another inside our night and dinner cage, and mama licked all of our backs and faces velvety, and we rolled into little balls against her warm belly and teats, where it became for some reason harder and harder to get a drink of milk. Sometimes Concetta gave us a little white stuff that was kind of like mama’s milk, but cold and tasting of strange animals, not mothers.

So we played hard all day, chasing each other in and out of potting sheds and around bags of soil and boxes of junk, and I sat and groomed myself incessantly, for though I had an idyllic country life, I also had personal vermin. The sun shone, and I slept soundly against my cousins and siblings in the noon heat, but if we didn’t get back to the cage once the shadows stretched all the way across the patio, we might face the terrible animals that snuck through holes in the fence and waited on the perimeter of the property, with grinning jaws and a rank stench hard to understand. When a very small kitten, curled up with the others, I listened at night, hearing them howl and even pant --sometimes I felt or heard them come so close to our yard, I could only tremble uncontrollably. I have only glimpsed these creatures, mind you, and those of us who heeded the older cats' rule of heading for the cage at Concetta's warbly voice at dusk were safe, and lived another day of hide and go seek, and long naps in the corners of the dusty yard or on an old couch. Sure, those dog-like creatures with the raging grins and gleaming eyes would try to sneak onto the property at dusk, even, so I made sure to tuck myself away well back into the cage before Concetta called us.

Now the only cage I have is the one I’m taken in (gulp) to the vet’s, a place of cold stainless steel and shiverings, and attempts to burrow hard into SD’s chest as she holds me, and the white-coated woman approaches with something to stick somewhere in my fur, into my skin. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand what I did to deserve something like that—the only cage I should ever have is that spontaneous one that happens when my Uprighter swoops down upon me, with arms and legs and bars of hair falling all around me and she forms a shelter with her body where I can purr and hide, and peep out as though I am in a cave (or admittedly, back with my old mother).

Well, perhaps the vet is for things like breaking the glass, or knocking books and pens and things down from the desk, or overturning my water bowl and splashing it all over the floor (I cannot stop this), or cracking open forbidden cabinet ---

--Doors! Right. So when SD opened the door, I was already poised for action, and whooshed by her feet and out into the hall. I sort of hunkered down and began to nose my way on my admittedly clumsy kitten reconnaissance, overpowered by a sudden wash of scents… dog… humans… and other things I could not identify, something like a strange food mixed with cleaning product….but then HARD hands knuckled down and grabbed me up into the air, and a last whiff of something utterly foreign passed over me before the door shut behind us and it was all over. It was my other Uprighter, G., who had swooped in and grabbed me up, and boy was he mad at this poor four-footer! I sat bewildered while they stared at me, yelling “NO!” I was thoroughly miserable and just wanted to go over to one of them to be picked up and held—no one can be mad at me while holding me; this is a proven fact…when I noticed that SD was trying hard to suppress a purr—she ended up giggling, and making much over how I bellied down out in the hall like a soldier elbowing his way through the trenches. ‘Or like a badger,’ said G. Ok, so I wasn’t at my suave feline best! And it really wasn’t much worth it—just another stretch of hallway with ugly carpet blooming unreal flowers. Interesting smells, though.

Well, Stella, I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me—and a little of what goes on behind that door Uprighters are always disappearing behind for hours and hours—sometimes for dreaded days, when a neighbor comes in to feed me. Now that we know it is nothing but more hallway, the mystery of their attraction to it deepens! Maybe they like to lie down in the corners out there, and it’s always a territorial standoff thing…Do let me know if you ever find out more about what happens when your Two Legs goes behind ‘The Front Door’—I remain, I confess—curious!

Anycat, Stella, if we ever met, I’m sure it would be a social disaster, because I tend to take non-human visitors as a bit of a threat, and rush up my carpeted pole to my ceiling perch, where I feel most comfortable hissing at the unwanted guest. No, it’s best we don’t meet in the fur, but I look forward to reading your stories, which should make all four-footed creatures proud and catapult you to the highest literary perch of all, where many birds wait to fall into your claws!

Ah! Nice dream…time for a quick nap. Ah mm ….mm


CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 7:14 a.m.

Very nice introduction to our newest blogger. Thank you, Mica, for making this a pleasant morning. :)


antigeekess Feb. 24, 2010 @ 5:51 p.m.

Hello Mica, my sweet little boyfriend.



CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 6:02 p.m.

Wait, I just realized: No picture! :(


SDaniels Feb. 24, 2010 @ 6:26 p.m.

CF, do you know how to add a picture within the text area?

And: A blog forthcoming on Mica's new love interest. He's secretive, tapping it out now...;)


CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 6:39 p.m.

When you upload your pic to Photobucket, they create different types of links for you, you copy/paste it into your text area at the place you want it to show. For instance, this is the link they created for me for my pic of my Tia Chela, which is in my thread "Old Photographs, First Kisses."


CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 6:43 p.m.

Ooops, I copied it in there, but it didn't show, sorry. :(

Anyway, you get the drift. Load your pic into Photobucket and they will churn out the link for you. They make different sorts of links, I think you want to use the one that says Direct Link.


SDaniels Feb. 24, 2010 @ 7:10 p.m.

Well, I just tried to upload a photo on the Reader site, but just like the last time I tried this, you get only a small red x and the word "image." As fond as I am of signage and of minimalism, this won't do.

If I load to this Photobucket, which I notice everyone using, does it provide just a link within the text to a photo, like I see in everyone's comments, or will the photo actually show up, right there between paragraphs?


CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 7:14 p.m.

Look at my blog thread, Old Photographs, and you will see that I could place the photos where I wanted them within the text of the thread.

I wrote the text, then inserted the link copied from Photobucket, then wrote more text, then inserted another link, and so forth.

You can place the link wherever you want it to show up.


CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 7:30 p.m.

I just checked, Daniels, you have to use the HTML tag. When you load the picture to Photobucket, you will see the list of links, use the one that says HTML.


SDaniels Feb. 24, 2010 @ 8:01 p.m.

Ok, but I'm wondering what the function of the Reader "upload" operation might be, if all it does is create that little red x? Do you see it between the first and second paragraphs? I notice that Jay Allen's columns make abundant use of this kind of thing, but can't recall seeing a Reader blogger's blog with photos embedded in the text--just links...

So I will try the Photobucket option--thanks for all the advice, Cuddle! ;)


SDaniels Feb. 24, 2010 @ 8:03 p.m.

re: #9:

Oh my gosh, now I see your photos embedded--how wonderful! I never saw that blog either--will have to amend that and give it a read ;)


antigeekess Feb. 24, 2010 @ 8:09 p.m.

Glad ya got it. Been so long, I don't remember how (if I ever knew in the first place).


CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 8:16 p.m.

It is easier using the links Photobucket and YouTube provides than trying to figure out which HTML tags work on this site.

jayallen's blogs are full of those annoying little red x's. The deal with them is that the originator often doesn't know/see that, sees the image s/he thought s/he was uploading. So to answer your question, yes, Daniels, all I see is the red x in the box.

Good luck with the Photobucket link! It should work. :)


CuddleFish Feb. 24, 2010 @ 8:18 p.m.

Oh, also, you probably don't recall or realize this re embedded images, but nan's threads and Quillpena's threads have photos embedded into them.


SDaniels Feb. 25, 2010 @ 3:22 a.m.

Right, I didn't at first recall, but when I did, decided that one big "duh'oh" was enough for one day ;)


CuddleFish Feb. 25, 2010 @ 3:59 a.m.

So, just to recap in hopefully a slightly clearer form:

Go to Photobucket and open an account. Once your account is open you will have a photo album page that says Upload, you click that and it will take you to your PC, then you find wherever in your computer the pic is stored that you want to upload (to skip this step, I generally save the pic to my desktop), open that directory, open the folder, then select the pic you want to upload and click Open, you will be returned to Photobucket, and after a moment uploading, you can scroll down and will have the option at the bottom of the page to save the pic to your album and upload more pics, or save and go to links. Either way, you will see your pic with a choice of links you can use listed under the pic. To insert the photo into your thread text, you want to use the link that says HTML. Just click and copy/paste the HTML link wherever you want it to go within the text. It's a fairly easy and painless, if tedious, process once you know how, and there are other sites you can use, such as Flickr which may be easier, I don't know. I have used Photobucket forever. Anyway, hope that helps. :)


Jay Allen Sanford Feb. 25, 2010 @ noon

RE "Uprighters are always disappearing behind for hours and hours..." I can't wait to read this blog aloud to my dog friend Calico. She has no idea how much she and our cat neighbors think alike ---- great post!

RE photos in blogs, I recommend this code generator - http://htmlcode.discoveryvip.com/

You can bump pics against type, or shift type to the left or right, or insert a pic into text field with text wrapping around pic, change text size and fonts, and all sorts of fun tricks 'n' tweaks - plus, after you've seen the resultant codes a bunch for "shift," "boldface," "italics," and such, you'll be able to code graphics and custom text into your blogs with your eyes closed -

I'm not seeing many "red X" placemarks where photos once sat - other than occasional hotlinked pics to other sites, where the original has been taken down, blocked, or the originator's online pic account has lapsed. I usually stick with using pics that are saved and html coded the same as the non-blog Reader pages, often using the above-linked code generator for more complex presentations.


SDaniels Feb. 27, 2010 @ 3:37 p.m.

Hey everyone, thank you so much for the suggestions. I signed up with Photobucket and tried a couple of times to copy and paste HTMLs but this did not work (still little red x showing up). Guess I'll try another type now, the "direct" code CF mentioned. If that does not work, I'll move down to Jayallen's suggestion--something has to work for me, right? Although I seriously doubt I will be coding with my eyes closed anytime soon ;)

Jayallen, thanks for the comment on Mica's content--he'll be pleased to hear it. For now, I've playfully confirmed his suspicion that what we do is simply go down the hall a ways and just lie down. I mean, he should be able to feel that we are protecting this island of ours in the midst of dog-ruled condo madness ;)


SDaniels Feb. 28, 2010 @ 3:05 p.m.

Now instead of a red x, I have an address. Is this closer to an actual photo? Sigh. No more time for this today.


SDaniels Feb. 28, 2010 @ 3:08 p.m.

Yay! I get it now--one must reach the absolute bottom of hopelessness, then the pic will appear. Directions should have indicated this from the start! ;)


MsGrant Feb. 28, 2010 @ 3:27 p.m.

SD - Mica is the dudette! That's one cool kitty.


SDaniels Feb. 28, 2010 @ 3:56 p.m.

Thanks, Grant! This pic is several months old, so he is much bigger now, including his head. Thing is,more recent photos won't translate to code, because I saved them wrong somehow. Will work on that when I get a chance, or just take some more! He's used to photo shoots, though the flash still makes him blink. ;)

Hey, sorry we didn't have a chance to get together. AG was wicked busy with the teeth stuff. Maybe when she returns in a month or two? It's up to her, as she of necessity schedules these trips pretty tight.


MsGrant Feb. 28, 2010 @ 4:02 p.m.

I am going to work on posting some photos of my posse as well, but after what you went through I'm not so sure! Maybe just a link. I'll give it my best shot. You just let me know when AG is back in town and we will kidnap her and get some drinks. Maybe go on a CM ride....


SDaniels March 1, 2010 @ 3:33 a.m.

merci, nan! I agree he is quite tasty, and the photo does not do justice to his plush coat and golden green eyes. Can you tell I love love love my fur boyfriend? ;)


Robert Johnston March 1, 2010 @ 1:02 p.m.

Looking there so peaceful, dreaming dreams that involve a mouse, an empty tummy...and trying to transfer said mouse into said tummy!

Just remember, when your kitty brings you "the daily catch," he is merely saying to you: "HERE NOW, SKINNY--LET'S PUT SOME MEAT ON THEM BONES!"

It's a feeling that once experienced...can never be rid of, no matter how much you try.



nan shartel March 1, 2010 @ 2 p.m.

his bear is quite the handsome cuss too....


SDaniels March 1, 2010 @ 2:19 p.m.

re: #24: Hey Grantie, just do exactly what Cuddle has written above, and it is easy, really. I don't know what happened with me, but ignore it--I did something wierd and saved my pics the wrong way. It is so easy to get an account at photobucket, and they translate the codes, so all you have to do is copy and paste it like an address or link, where you want it in your text.

Do it! We want to see your puss posse! (Did that sound wrong, somehow? ;)

re:#28: Hey, LPR! Nice to see you! Sounds like you've had a mouser in your life ;) I have too, but my current kitty is strictly indoors. I saved him from the big bad coyotes, as you can infer from his tale, and he is so far content to enjoy the splendors afforded him inside with a doting human female always there to cuddle, play, and administer treats.

re:#29: Nan! He ignores that bear now! Used to wrestle with it, the whole deal with trying to disembowel it. Alas, now Mr. Bear sits with the rest of his neglected toys.


MsGrant March 2, 2010 @ 8:23 a.m.

I will, I need to do a kitty blog! Puss posse sounds right.


SDaniels March 3, 2010 @ 1:25 a.m.

Yes, "Puss Posse" does work, doesn't it? ;) What is your adorable baby's name, Grant? Sure looks Tabbyish or perhaps Maine Coonish to me?


MsGrant March 3, 2010 @ 8:24 a.m.

She is a tabby through and through. This one is Pickle. The old one was Peanut. She told me to tell you "thank you" for the compliment.


CuddleFish March 3, 2010 @ 9:09 a.m.

I remember the Pickle story. Did you tell us about Peanut?


MsGrant March 3, 2010 @ 10:49 a.m.

No, but I will. Peanut is probably the cutest cat alive. Although I am sure that many of you would beg to differ.....


SDaniels March 9, 2010 @ 6:24 p.m.


Ok, got your attention, everyone? :)

I'm going to post a blog soon for a missing cat in my neighborhood. She's a gorgeous gal who needs to go home, and her owner is grieving terribly. Be on the lookout for a post about "Jessie," and tell anyone you know who might live in or frequent the area. Thanks, all xoxoxo SD


SDaniels March 10, 2010 @ 2:33 p.m.

Sorry CF, cheap trick, I know. BUT HEY, ANYTHING FOR THE PUSSIES!


Robert Johnston March 12, 2010 @ 10:17 a.m.

Actually, SD, I had two before. Both were indoor cats. The first one was "Mr. Thang." My late spouse and I called him that because she originally thought HE was a SHE, and had named it after Haley from All My Children.

Well, it turned out that "Haley" had "boy gear," so after we took him to "get the snip," we called him "Mr. Thang." He clung to me like glue--a real Daddy's boy. His end came because of pesticide poisoning from a defective Hartz Flea-Collar. I shed many a bitter tear for days.

Oh, good--my Gevailia Kaffe has just arrived!

Back to the story: two years later, Mel and I decided to adopt a kitty. We went to the Oceanside Humane Society to see about one. As we came into the "cattery," a little coal-black kitten started climbing the front of the cage. Mel said..."That's the one, babe!"

We both got to hold our new "adoptee," whom we yclept "Jett," after Joan Jett (same color hair and feisty spirit). As ling herI took my turn cuddling her, a strange thing happened...she started chewing on my mustache (I wore one at the time). Funny!

I often wish that I could have a cat again...but an apartment my size doesn't leave much room for one. Plus, I have to pay $200 in deposit fees to the property management company. That reeks worse than the Bugler rollies one of my former housemates used to indulge in!

Oh, well--such is life! LPR


CuddleFish March 12, 2010 @ 11:04 a.m.

Robby, I had to pay steep deposit fees here, too, but I will gladly forfeit them if it comes to that; cats are a smelly business sometimes, and they do cause damage, though I do all I can to mitigate what they've done. A landlord that allows cats is a gem and I won't begrudge the money.


SDaniels March 22, 2010 @ 10:20 p.m.

"His end came because of pesticide poisoning from a defective Hartz Flea-Collar."

My god, LPR! Did you report this? Every shelter and vet possible should have been alerted. I wonder if the CDC has a division for pet issues?...

Right on, Cuddle and nan. It sucks that pet fees have risen so high, but it is true that some damage is inevitable, to carpet especially.


CuddleFish March 23, 2010 @ 7:51 a.m.

You may have heard about this on the news: The government is looking into reports of pets being poisoned by flea drops. What it sounds like is that cats are especially susceptible. I think what's happening is that cats are being given too many drops for their size. You can buy flea "drops" at the store, or you can buy the professional vet brand drops on the Internet. Kathy, my FCC friend, buys pro drops for dogs, as it is cheaper, then gives her cats less drops. I am sure that's what a lot of people do, buy the big dog size because it is cheaper, then try to dose down. That's very tricky to do. But in this economy it is hard to take the cat to the vet for flea drops, you are looking at a $200 visit, when you can buy a six month supply of pro drops on the Internet for $50. I buy the pro drops off the Net myself, but I buy the appropriate size to be safe.

According to the FCC, it's long been known that there are certain brands of drops people shouldn't buy in the stores. I'm glad the gov is finally investigating (there have been lots of death and injury), but I hope it doesn't lead to even higher prices and more restriction. People just got to be smart, and not just cheap, about these things.


MsGrant March 23, 2010 @ 8:39 a.m.

It really is bad practice to try to self-administer the correct dose. It's just not worth it.

Everytime I have to Advantage my cats, I hate it and so do they. That stuff truly is poison - it should come with a skull and crossbones label.

Does anyone know of a more natural way to control fleas? I really, really dislike the use of poisons.


SDaniels March 23, 2010 @ 12:23 p.m.

I can't believe anyone would try to give Advantage for dogs to cats--no one I know does that! That is just asking for trouble. I wouldn't even attempt to give part of the adult does to kittens. Uh uh...

If I hear of any way to do it naturally, man, everyone in my book is getting a shout out. At present, everyone is using Advantage--except me and Mica, who had no need. Even though we have a screened-in porch, I guess the fleas are too stupid to jump up and through it. ;)


CuddleFish March 23, 2010 @ 12:37 p.m.

According to Kathy, its the same formula whether you buy for dogs or cats, only more drops per tube. So you get the drops for dogs and give 10 drops per cat instead of the whole tube.

I did this once but was so nervous about it, that since then have bought the right formula, even though it is more expensive.


MsGrant March 23, 2010 @ 1 p.m.

Also, my vet sells the larger dose for the bigger cats and a nine pound and under that I get for Peanut. Although she is chunking up a bit now that she is officially a cat. She has a doctor appointment tomorrow. We shall see if she fits into the big kitty catagory now.


SDaniels March 24, 2010 @ 4:59 p.m.

Sounds like we need better information campaigns out there...


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