The many faces of Benji

“Hey Benji,” I said.  “I’d like to take some pictures of you to submit to American Rescue Cats magazine.  They’re looking for their next CoverCat.  You’d be perfect. Just pretend I don’t have a camera.”

“Sure!  Love to!”   he replied.  “How’s this?”


“Hmmmm,”  I said.  “Very nice.  Only I’m looking for something more relaxed.  Maybe you could tone it down just a bit.”

“Okay, okay.”  he said excitedly.  “I know exactly what you mean.  Something more like this?””


“Great Benji,”  I said. “Really good….  only …  well the eyes,  Benji.  Maybe we should forget the props and just go for a headshot.”

“Sure!”  he said.  “I can do it!  How about this?”


“Now Benji, don’t get me wrong.  It looks great but, well, I was thinking of something a bit more pensive…”

“Got it,” he said, jumping up to the desk.  “How’s this?” .


“Good Benji. Good.  Say Benji, why don’t we try again tomorrow when we’re fresh?”

“Okay ” he said.  “I give up.”


“That’s it Benji!  I got it!”

~ just for fun,

Susanne and Benji

Winter Garden Bouquet

I saw the little rose was still blooming outside after a week of freezing cold and snow.  Since she had survived so long I brought her into the house and added her to this Winter Bouquet.



A memory in snow….

Our first snow arrived earlier this week but was short-lived. The ground is all clear, the air icy cold, while we wait for the next round of snow to appear. Clouds are moving in but glorious patches of blue remain like parfait.


Is this the sky speaking before the storm arrives?  We shall see. The forecast keeps changing and I fear I shall yet be disappointed.

I love the snow.  That, in spite of the fact I once spent 10 hours snow bound on Interstate 5 between Seattle and Renton. That’s love, yes?  Of course it does make for a good story (another time perhaps) but my favorite snow memories are more wonderful.  Such as that day many years ago when  ….


I walked across the campus in the falling snow.  It was my first day of college and I was giddy with joy.  After working almost five years after high school, I had saved up some money, quit my job, and moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University.   I made my way past Old Main dressed in blue jeans and  jacket, the fresh snow crunching under my boots. Oh the adventure!

The university catalog would be my tour guide and I reveled in choosing the places I would go, the people I would meet, the things I would see! The Byzantine Empire.  Dostoyevsky and The Underground Man. Astronomy, complete with roof top views of Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s rings. I still couldn’t believe I could arrange my schedule as I liked, take whatever I wanted, and still have time to read for hours in the library or break with friends over coffee.  So this was school.  Where had I been?  The snow only completed the picture, adding to the magic. 

Snow!  Perhaps it triggers some memories in you too?

~  Susanne

My first snow

This is Benji and today I got to see my first snow.  It made the world white and cold.  Soft and wet.  I liked it best from my warm printer perch.



I like snow.

~  Benji

Tiger ~ there’s a long winter ahead

This is Tiger and I gotta tell you it’s not been easy training my little brother, Benji.

No, he’s not my blood brother even if there is a resemblance. We couldn’t be more different. I’m the strong one with the white feet; he’s the pipsqueak with the chopped ear.  He is young and impertinent.  I am wise and mature.  He is bold and hyperactive. I have learned to conserve my energy so it’s available when needed. He is as impetuous as youth. I am a cautious and sensitive soul.

My mission is to train the lad in the subtle ways of the Cat and teach him submission. It is an arduous task.  Sue helps me out when she can using the squirt bottle as needed.   Grandma provides me refuge in her room when I need a break.  When she closes the door it is she and I against the world.

And when I tire of it all I flee outside to secret places. I know my kingdom like the back of my paw and can easily lose the cowboy in the bush.  (Hmmmm … now there’s a thought….)  Unfortunately the seasons are changing and I smell snow in the mountains nearby. Soon I shall have to hole up inside.  It shall be a long winter.

And so I remain,


~ the Tiger

Stopping for a Sunset

It was late in the afternoon and I had to run to the store for some last minute items.  When I returned to my car it seemed that storm clouds were gathering and the sky had become a strange mix of color. I was a block away when I knew I had to stop and take a picture of the sunset which lasted only a few minutes and could not be seen by the time I got home. I was glad I did.


Benji the Destroyer

Benji is a very cute and soft kitten.  Looks can be deceiving.


Benji is also an active kitten and destroyer of small objects.  Case in point.

The perch.

The perch above serviced several cats before Benji arrived on the scene.  None of them chewed off the edge as Benji was compelled to do. Please note the boy is well fed and has no need for additional roughage in his diet.

Second case in point.

The troll doll.

I have taken to collecting objects from my childhood and had been on the lookout for a small troll doll with orange hair.  (It reminds me of the day when the ground shook at school during the 1965 Seattle earthquake . Collectibles are like that, bringing memories to the front.  But excuse me, I digress.)

So I recently found a troll doll with yellow hair in a collectible store and I brought it home and placed it on a shelf in my office.  I like yellow as much as or more than orange.  It would do nicely until an orange one could be found.

After some time I noticed the doll was missing and found it later under my desk.  I was slow to understand and returned it to the shelf.  The next time it disappeared I found it after a few days behind my chair.  Back to the shelf it went. Then one day I came upon Benji carrying off the poor doll as prey. This time I hid it in the closet.  Unfortunately the closet door is sometimes open and therefore inviting. Thus I found the doll on the closet floor with the hair increasingly unattached to the scalp.


Fortunately through all this, the troll doll is still smiling.  So am I.

~  Susanne

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