Benji’s Bathtime Antics

Good Morning from Benji!

As you know we felines are the cleanest animals in the kingdom and do not need nor do we rely on any human facility to remain so.  In fact, humans have much to learn from us about continuous and natural cleansing. Even so, the bathroom is a fun place to visit and greet my favorite human first thing in the morning.

Today, the door was open just enough to allow me entrance to the shower facilities.

I am lithe and nimble and successfully nosed my way in.  These are the benefits of being a small cat.

While I wait for Sue to finish I decide to freshen up.

When she is finally done I drink the fresh water that remains behind.  I don’t know if she approves of this but she has yet to reprimand me. (I have learned she doesn’t like me to drink from the swirling bowl and I admit I do not understand all the rules.)

All in all, a good start to the day.

~ Benji

A Daytrip to Lincoln Park and Alki Beach

We finally got the rain free day we were waiting for and decide to spend it on a trip to Lincoln Park and Alki Beach in West Seattle.

After a short drive we arrive at the park and hike a lovely trail through some patches of old growth forest to the bluff overlooking Puget Sound.

A slight wind is blowing as we descend to the beach below where it is crisp and cold,  and the Olympic Mountains are seen in their full glory. The fresh air and saltwater do us good!

On our return through the park we come across this giant and stately maple tree.

Then it’s onward to Alki Beach where the first group of white settlers landed and founded the City of Seattle in 1851.

We stop to eat at nearby Spud’s Fish and Chips for the best fish and chips in Seattle.  Founded in 1935 it’s also Seattle’s oldest fast food restaurant.  On it’s walls are pictures of early Seattle history including Luna Park, considered the Coney Island of the West, which operated at Alki Beach from 1907 – 1913.

I was pleased to see photographs taken by O.T. Frasch, an early Seattle photographer who also happens to be my great grandfather.  (Maybe that’s where I get my interest in photography?)

After lunch we move on for views of Seattle’s skyline, starting with a sneak peak at the Space Needle and the Cascades behind.

Speaking of mountains, in addition to the Olympics and Cascades we also find nice views of Mt Baker to the north;

while Mt Rainier can be seen blending into the milky sky to the south.

This outing should tide us over until the next rain free day which according to the current weather forecast may be a week out.

Such is life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

~  Susanne

Rainy Days and Mondays

Another cold and rainy day in the Pacific Northwest and a Monday besides.  Though all things are green in the garden, work will have to wait.  We have been promised a day of sunshine this week and are hoping the promise is not vain.

Tucked inside, Mom and I play cribbage (don’t ask who won) and Tiger watches nearby, happy to be where we are.

Benji is tuckered out from last night’s prowling about and curls up for a good nap near the fire.  He is dreaming of tonight’s adventure.

There are worse ways to spend a Monday I suppose.

~  Susanne


And patches of blue ..

Enjoy them while you can for they are fleeting….

Brought to you by springtime in the Pacific Northwest.

~  Susanne

Working in the Garden on a Rainy Morning

I woke up this morning to the sound of another torrential downpour and after much consideration over a steaming latte decided I would not be deterred.  There would be enough breaks in the rain and places to shelter;  I would proceed with plans to work in the garden.

I would target my herb bed where the rosemary had become a tree crowding out everything else.  Out he would come to be replaced with a smaller version that hopefully would be contained.  I would add another variety of lavender to the bed and surround it with some new varieties of mint.  One simply cannot have too much lavender.

I would plant the fuchsia starts along with some basket stuffers and hope they do better than last year.  Isn’t spring gardening (like spring baseball) all about hope?

And I would stop to admire the delicacy of the azalea, the faithful and often underappreciated workhorse of the Northwest garden.

That would have to do for today.

~ Susanne

A Harrowing Night in the Shed

This is Tiger and do I have a harrowing tale for you!  It all started out innocently enough yesterday. Benji and I were sporting about in the garden, helping Bob and Sue with various tasks, digging, chasing, and advising on work to be done.  Bob and Sue tired of the work before I did, while Benji went off to play in the woods. When raindrops started to fall I sought refuge in the shed as the door was open and welcoming.

I must have been really tired.  I dozed off and on for what seemed like hours until I woke up, disoriented to a freezing, dark and dingy room. As my eyes adjusted I could make out the tools and rakes and gloves and chairs and remembered I had entered the shed earlier.  I heard the owls hooting in the woods and the scuffling of the small night beasts and knew it must be after midnight.  How I  wished I was snuggled in grandma’s warm room having a midnight snack of kibble!  But that once welcoming shed door was shut and I was trapped inside.  I shuddered and pondered my fate.

Long ago fears rose up reminding me I’d been abandoned before.  Old lives came back to haunt me bringing memories like arrows with them.  Had Sue given me up?  Humans were changeable after all. I tried hard not to panic and replaced my fears with all the good memories of Sue and Bob and Grandma (and even Benji.)

Then from a distance. It was Sue.  She was calling, calling, calling.  I cried back as loud as I could though it seemed in vain; she was so far away. I cried louder and her voice got louder in return and I knew she was approaching.  In the yard.  Near.

“I’m here!,”  I said.  “In here!  In the shed!”

And when she opened the door I had never been so happy to see her.

“Oh Tiger!” she said with love and concern and (dare I say) remorse in her voice.

“Poor boy!  What are you doing in there??”  And I knew that she had been roused from her sleep to seek me out and they hadn’t really meant to trap me in there; she was a good human after all and really did love me.  And so I followed her into the warmth of the house and accepted her apologies which were heartfelt and profuse.

It wasn’t easy.  But I do feel stronger for having survived such a night.  I shall have to tell Benji all about it.  And it was great to see the humans come through.  I always knew they would.

~ Tiger

Cat on a Cold, Wood Roof!

First let me say I have had many cats throughout most of my adult life. Black ones. Brown ones.  Gray ones.  White ones. Long haired, short haired. Small and large. I saw them jump. Play. Chase. Hunt. Climb trees.  All the things that cats do.  But I never, ever, ever saw one of them on my roof.

Until today.

I had come home from church and was met by my mom who had a story to tell.  She had heard a loud kerplunk on the roof and when she went to investigate guess what she saw.  A bird?  I said.   A raccoon?  I wondered.  Guess again.  Guess again.

I give, I give, I said.  But I already knew.

It was a cat!  That crazy boy, Benji to be more specific.

At first she thought she might try to help him down (she could almost reach him from the back porch she said) but had decided against it.  (Thank you mom. I would have been more distressed to find you both stuck.)

She finally figured, well,  he got up there somehow, he would have to find his own way down. And he did.  And when he came in the house after his big adventure, she had a good talk with him and he promised never to do that again.  Uh-huh.  That’s what he said.

Except he did.  In the next hour. I helped him down twice.  That’s it, I said.  No more!

I shall have to talk to your father when he gets home I said.  Until then you are on restriction.

Now please do not think me a poor cat parent.  This one has a wild streak and we are doing the best we can with him.

But honestly. Isn’t he cute when he’s asleep?

~  Susanne

Gardening with Benji and Tiger

We finally have a few days with no rain in the forecast so it is time for some serious spring gardening. My goal today is to prepare the beds for planting and for this work I am joined by my faithful assistant Benji.  We focus our attention on a vegetable bed which has been taken over by a massive tangle of unidentified roots.

When it’s time for a break Benji  heads to the stream and I can’t help but notice what a handsome boy he is, a real tribute to the feline species!  He seems to understand this and poses for me.

After the work is nearly done, Tiger joins us and finds the catmint beginning to sprout amid another tangle of weeds.  I’ll save that for next time.

~   Susanne

The Deal

The Deal – a true tale from long, long ago …….


By Susanne

When I was five I lost a tooth and my mom told me to put it under my pillow so the tooth fairy would leave me money. But the next day the tooth was still there.

“Oh!” she said. “He must have been too busy to get to you. Put it under your pillow tonight and he’ll come.”

But the next day it was still there. “That darn tooth fairy forgot me again!” I told her.

“Just forget him!” she said. “From now on you bring your teeth to me and I’ll take care of it.”

And so she did.

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Word of the Day – Synchronized 

Synchronized Cats.

– Tiger and Benji

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