Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yawn! Don't Yawn!

Lilybits, not large, but in charge!


Now that you’ve read that word, did you yawn? Yawns are contagious, you know, possibly due to the fact that humans can be empathetic. Sometimes I catch Mom yawning after I let loose one of my big cat yawns. This is theoretically all up for debate, of course.

Since people often connect yawning to sleepiness or boredom, you could see how a cat like myself might yawn quite a few times a day. After all we are smart enough to get more sleep than you humans do—sometimes up to 20 hours a day!

New research concludes that yawning is actually a form of cooling the brain. You open your mouth and suck all that cool air in. It hits tissue in your mouth and throat, cooling your blood stream and your brain is primed and ready to think better.

Of course, this makes a lot of sense for a cat like myself, who does lots of big thinking. I have to figure out new ways of being cute and begging for food successfully. I also have to make quick mathematical calculations before I take a leap from one piece of furniture to another. I’m also learning to communicate. Sometimes I can lead Mom over to the laundry room with a certain whine and look, so that she remembers to scoop the icky stuff in my princess potty.

What about you? What makes you yawn?

My apologies to my readers and fellow A to Z meme bloggers that so many links lead right back to this blog! I made a little mistake when linking this blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

X-Axis=Nap, not Math

Lilybits, not large, but in charge!

Originally, I was going to write about xenon, since it’s a noble gas and I am surely descended from nobility at the very least, if not royalty! But xenon is colorless, odorless and tasteless. What a boring gas! Not only that, but xenon can be used as a general anesthetic. It really puts you to sleep!

Moving on: Now the X-axis is something I can get into to or, should I say, on top of. The x-axis is my favorite axis—it’s horizontal. Since it’s horizontal, I can nap on it. Or I can perch on top of it and look ferocious!

The world is filled with x-axis surfaces, which intersect with y-axis walls. Walls aren’t my favorite surfaces. They keep me confined and if you try to sleep on a wall, gravity will pull you down. The best I could do to hang onto the y-axis would be to grab onto a curtain with my claws and hold on for dear life.

Rene Descartes
Let me explain a little more, the x-axis is the horizontal axis of a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. Ooh, that sounds like a secret society, doesn’t it? Or maybe something in outer space? You may discuss this while I clean my fur. Done yet? Okay, the system is actually named for Rene Descartes’ mathematical system. He’s one of those famous guys who lived a long time ago and had something to do with philosophy.

Some of my favorite x-axes are the shelf under the foyer table, Mom’s lap (which is a rather lumpy x-axis), the bed (also rather lumpy, but comfy) and a plain old carpeted floor. These fairly flat surfaces serve their purposes well. What are some of your favorite x-axis surfaces?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fun Facts About Lilybits, a Versatile Blogger

It's time for another blog award, but this one is pure fun!

Lily and I were nominated by a very versatile blogger, who has been on the A to Z Meme blog hop along with me, Lisa Betz. Thank you, Lisa! I hope you will be blessed by her blog as I have been!

The Versatile Blogger Award simply requires that I share seven facts about myself. The seriousness or significance of said facts was not specified. So I decided to opt for silliness. And the epitome of
silliness is Lilybits at the helm!

But first, the rules for those who are nominated:
  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5 blogs.
  5. Link your nominee’s blogs and let them know.
Lilybits here: I had to wrestle the MacBook away from Mom, but she finally conceded that seven interesting facts about me would be more engaging, more fun, etc. Here we go:

1. I am a recovering tuna addict. Let me explain this for you, because I’m an unwilling recovering tuna addict. Mom doesn’t open cans of tuna as often any more, because I yowl like a siren passing down the street when she does. I fuss and scream, begging for tuna as though my life depends on it, just hoping for a mere taste. Indeed, at that moment, it seems my life depends on ingesting a taste of that canned delicacy. The mere scent of it sends me into fits of rubbing my ribs on the corner of the kitchen-island and following Mom obnoxiously. Unfortunately, I must eat only special canned food. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Boring!

2. I don’t have a tail. You may have noticed this in my photos—or not. I have been cruelly deprived of that proud appendage, because of an injury and infection. Eventually, because of all the pain my beautiful ringed tail was surgically removed. Hence, I am sometimes referred to as “Lilybits, the Tail-less Wonder.” Why not? 

3. One of my best friends, in my old life, was a dog. The crazy cat lady who brought me to Pet Smart, that fateful day, when Jack and Kathy became my adopted, nearly hairless parents (well, I am their fur baby), I rode in a cage with a dog! The rest of it has become fuzzy (no pun intended), since I’ve become the center of attention. Besides, the drugs they gave me when I had my surgery made me kind of confused. All I know is that if I came to Pet Smart in a cage with him and I wasn’t hissing, so he must have been my buddy.

4. I speak a few people words. The one I practice the most is “Mom.” This comes out more like a pitiful “Mrowm” and works well when I want something to eat, which is most of the time when I’m not sleeping. I’m pretty good at saying, “no.” I sound especially sassy when I don’t want to be picked up. I also will throw in an occasional “what” when I am fully engaged in watching the birds at the bird feeder and Mom calls me. I sound pretty sassy when I say that too.

5. I have a pretty sweet deal when Mom covers my pill pockets with pieces of freeze-dried chicken. I know she’s trying to get me to take my tummy medicine more easily, but sometimes I eat around the pill and spit it out. Then she works harder at covering the mushy pill pocket with freeze-dried chicken treats, since she hates pilling me, and I wind up with an extra treat! Hee hee!

6. I am apparently a dilute tiger tabby. Mom always refers to me as her little gray tabby, but I am more complicated than that. I have lovely tiger stripes that can be hard to see. And while my undercoat and belly seem to be a creamy taupe, the tips of my fur on my back, sides and legs are darker gray. I believe that’s called ticked. So I’m not sure if I’m a dilute, ticked, tiger tabby or just a tiger tabby with ticked fur. Hmm . . . What do you think? Mom reminds me I am of mixed lineage, while Dad is happy to refer to me as a mutt.

7. I don’t like chocolate! Mom was so worried about my getting poisoned by getting into her vast hoards of chocolate, but that icky brown stuff is no temptation for me! I suppose Mom thinks she enjoys eating chocolate so much everybody should love the stuff. Not! My tastes are much more discriminating. Give me meat, poultry or fish or perhaps a piece of fine melted cheese and given a chance, I won’t turn my nose up at bacon. But that chocolate stuff is not for me, unless it’s an M&M, which conveniently falls to the floor, so I may play with it. Chocolate in that form makes an excellent toy.

And for the Versatile Blogger Award, Mom and I nominate:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WHY Your Cat Makes You a Better Person

Lilybits, not large, but in charge!
Cats may not be good for your ego, but they make you a better person and here’s why:
Take my mom for example. She is needy beyond all reason, wanting to cuddle frequently, while I’m trying my best to be a cool cat. I force her to guess what makes me happy. If she makes me happy, then I’m glad to spend time with her. After the treats are given and chase and hide and seek game are finished, I may have time to curl up on her lap for awhile.

Mom is learning to be less selfish and put my needs first. Your cat can do this for you too.
Cats also keep humans from having inflated self-images, while dogs accept everything about you. Is this really good for a human? Cats snub their humans when it doesn’t suit their mood to be playful or cuddly or perhaps if they’re a bit insulted you left them all day. This makes for a more humble human. (Note to my feline friends: Don’t push your luck too far. Humans can be rather sensitive and we have to leave them with some sense of control and a shred of dignity.)

Cats are also such beautiful creatures they help you look better. After all, who will pay attention to you in your stretchy pants and stained t-shirt, when there is a beautiful, furry creature with large expressive eyes in the same room.

Feline pets keep you from being sloppy. No longer will you leave half-empty water glasses unattended in a room or partially eaten meat of any kind, for that matter.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Having a feline companion is an excellent way to build character and make yourself more attractive. If you don’t already have one, run, don’t walk to your nearest pet adoption center and bring a cat home with you! Unless you’re allergic, of course. More is the pity for you, but you can always read my column, which I’m sure will affect you

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I’ve been nominated for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award! It was very cool and I am pleased to be nominated by one of my favorite bloggers, J’nell Ciesielski. I am always learning some new historical fact from her blog. Thank you for the nomination, J’nell!

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Nominate five blogs.

The Ten Questions I was given:

1. What is the main purpose of your blog?
Right now, I hope to connect with readers by adding a little humor to their day. There are so many sad and crazy things going on in the world today, I’d like to think that viewing the world through my cat, Lilybit’s, eyes will give people a chuckle and take their minds off of the tough things in life for a minute or two.

I titled my blog “Writing, Whimsy and Devotion,” beginning with motivational posts on writing, Wednesday Whimsy with my cat, and devotions posted on Saturday to encourage believers. While Lilybits was originally the one who interviewed authors or wrote book reviews, I hope to expand my Books ‘n’ Blurbs category—sharing about more authors and their books!

2. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever blogged about?
Probably about my cat chasing bats, and giving herself the credit. Lilybits likes to remind us that she’s earned her keep that way. ;) 

3. What’s your favorite and most despised word?
Asking a writer what their favorite word is cruel! I could spend days trying to figure this out. There are many beautiful, descriptive and/or to the point words in the English language. I’ll have to get back to you on that one!

However, my most despised word currently is wrongheaded. Really? This, to me, implies that a human has more than one head. But since wrongheaded is often used by politicians and media folk, perhaps they are actually aliens, hiding an extra head somewhere. Time to put on the right one. Yes, I know what it really means, but I dislike the word! 

4. What’s the one thing that always makes you laugh?
Watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns. I missed an entire decade of television shows while my kids were young, so it's like a new show for me.

5. If you could hang out with one fictional character for the day, who would it be?
Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice fame. It would be fun to visit her after she marries Mr. Darcy and take a tour of Pemberley.

6. Who would play you in a movie? Would it be a comedy, horror, romance, or chic flick?
Though she would be a younger, taller, and much prettier version of me, Sandra Bullock. It would have to be a romantic comedy. I loved the way she played the role of Lucy in While You Were Sleeping.

7. You’ve got one day to spend $1M …
While I wish I were more altruistic and less selfish, first I would pay off my kids’ school loans, then I would buy plane tickets online to go visit each one of my children. I would also happily purchase that dream European vacation package I’ve wanted to take. Once I shopped for new bedroom, living room, office and dining room furniture and a few other things for the house, I would set aside some cash for dinner. I would deposit $250,000 in hubby’s retirement account. I’m thinking that I would have at least $600,000 or more left. I’d like to give money to an orphanage in Haiti, donate funds to a few missionaries we know and find some way to help local disabled American veterans and their families. I’m not sure how I’d break those funds down. Last of all, I would end the day by taking my husband and some of our dear friends out for dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants. At least,
those are some ideas I have at this moment, but priorities change!

8. Sweet or salty?
Sweet and a little salty go great together, but if I had to choose, it would be sweet. I have quite the sweet tooth and really enjoy just about anything containing chocolate.

9. If you could write any other genre, what would it be?
Speculative or mystery.

10. Mr. Darcy is at the front door, do you a) thanks but no thanks, I’ve already got my dream man b) ride off to Pemberley and make him dive in the pond a few times.
a) Tell him, “Thanks, but no thanks, I’ve already got my dream man.” However, it would be rude not to invite him in for some tea. Of course, I’d have to apologize for the lack of servants and grandeur.

I nominate:

Here are my 10 questions:
1) Why do you blog?
2) Which famous person from history would you interview on your blog if you could?
3) Where do you most of your blog ideas come from?
4) What is your favorite blog post that you’ve written?
5) What are some future topics you hope to cover on your blog?
6) What has been your favorite place to visit in the United States?
7) Where and what kind of dream vacation would you like to take?
8) What fictional character do you identify with the most, out of your best-loved books?
9) Are you a seat of the pants blogger or do you plan out your posts, with purpose, long in advance?
10) Have you found that blogging has helped you grow in other areas of writing?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Violets and Cats? Very Interesting!

What do violets have to do with cats? Let’s back up a moment—I could use the word “very” for my V word and remind all of you that I am a very pretty, very smart, very funny cat, etc.; but that would be plain boring. All of my readers already know these are well-established facts. I’m not bragging, just being honest.

Now onto violet, the word of the week:

One thing about violets—many people wonder whether houseplants, like African violets, are poisonous to kitties. For those who enjoy this plant’s lovely purple blooms, there’s good news: They’re non-toxic to cats! For an exhaustive list of plants which are toxic and non-toxic go the ASPCA website.

Violet also gets around as a name for cats. Mom knows a real person who has an adorable kitten named Violet. There’s also a fictitious Violet, who Cynthia Coppersmith, the lady who marries Fr. Tim Kavanaugh, in the Mitford series books, writes about. I’ve heard some of the stories on CD, on the long car ride up north. Cynthia has a pet cat named Violet and writes children's books about the pretend adventures of her cat. Did you know the author of the Mitford series, Jan Karon, helped create some real books about Violet with author Melanie Cecka? Okay. Now this is getting downright confusing. You can check out more about these books at this LINK, while I lick my paws.

Are you a Downton Abbey fan? Mom is. (Insert eye roll here.) This show is based on a barbaric time in history when cats were usually kept just to control the mice population rather than be appreciated for their elegance. Instead, in this show, the people are dressed prettily and placed in an elegant historical setting. I am usually hiding under the dresser while Mom watches Downton Abbey. Occasionally I will hang out with Mom and Dad for a good head petting at that time. One of the characters on that show is a rather fearsome lady—Lady Violet Crawley. She may be cunning, but she doesn’t understand the subtlety of cats. (Here are some of her forthright quotes.) I think she would send a naughty house cat away to fend for itself. I shiver at the thought. 

And then there may be some cats with violet eyes. Albino Siamese cats sometimes appear to have lavender eyes (close enough). And apparently Siberian cats sometimes have them as well. Watch the video below and tell me whether you think this cat’s eyes are blue or violet? No offense, but for some reason I like green cat eyes the best. I am tired from writing this exhaustive article. It’s time for me to find a heat vent to nap on top or—or jump on Mom while she’s sleeping. Yeah, the second choice sounds better. Purr.