Creative writing, experiences, outspoken observations & opinions, on life; the world around them, by the cats of writer Kiril Kundurazieff. Taking 1 step at a time on the Journey of Discovery, Enlightenment, that comes with having 9 Lives to work with.
As Military.com explains it... "This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country's service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to "Veterans Day" in order to account for all veterans in all wars.
We celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good."
There was a 4 year period, early last century when the humans got real mad at each other and took to shooting at each other to sort it all out.
Lots of them died before they settled their squabble.
It was messy to say the least, both the fighting and the peace that came afterward.
There are a zillion tributes this past week and this weekend to the human side of the war...
I want Opinionated Pussycat to be among those who pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the war, and to other wars before and since.
The army of animals... horses, donkeys, and mules, among others who gave their lives to serve their humans needs.
Did you know that 8 million horses, donkeys, and mules died in various support roles for the humans on all sides of World War 1?
I found the above beautiful tribute photo on Facebook.
There is one little-known side to The Great War, not to mention other wars through history...the role of cats.
The above "Regimental Cat" in a trench in France in 1918 barely scratches the surface.
While it is common knowledge about the role of dogs in war, not so much is publically known about cats.
I was surprised to learn that in WW1 500,000 cats were dispatched to the trenches and on ships where they killed rats & mice; some were also used as gas detectors.
They were mascots and companions in the trenches, on battleships and at military bases and camps.
Spirit, of Cat Authors website, has 3 posts, with photos of felines in action, and a few more details on their duties (1, 2, 3).
It is a page of links, not just to history, but to resources...a page we encourage everyone to read and explore and share far and wide, not just today, but every day.
From cats and dogs to Marine Mammals, animals have been a part of the military past and present, and cats and dogs also serve as companion animals for military veterans, in various capacities.
We have a growing list of resources that we are always looking to add to and encourage anyone who thinks they have something we might like to add to this collection to please forward that info to us at the e-mail in the sidebar and we promise to look into it and consider it.
Elvira Mistress of Felinity, here, with some news.
I apologize for the lack of content since the CWA Conference.
We HAVE been going through what all he brought home and planning for some posts, but we have also been keeping an eye on Daddy through the Summer.
He had a stress-related fainting spell at work, one evening and, while he had no need for a visit to the hospital, it had us worried.
He also had something called a hemorrhoid that had him worried, and thus made us look at our own butts more closely for days!
He has a new doctor and wants to get his first physical in 2 years, some bloodwork, and more, if he can, to better understand what physical shape he is in as he begins to bike and walk more now that he also has a more "personal life-friendly" work schedule, with a few day shifts and his days off all occurring on weekdays.
Anyway, I also apologize for the inability to see photos, right now. There is a reason.
One of his Domain Names has recently expired and he is unable to pay the renewal and reinstatement fees until payday on Thursday.
What this means is that anything associated with that domain is unviewable until he pays the bill.
Such is life when living paycheck to paycheck.
The good news is that this payday is a doozy, he says, what with a huge 2nd quarter bonus that looks to allow him to put some money away in his savings once his bills are paid and he shops for some clothes and sets some money aside for a few vacation activities he has planned.
While the shelters fill from sea to shining sea, let us swear to rescue and adopt into homes with you and me. Let us all be grateful for people that care, as we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God Bless the feline, critter I think the world of. Sit beside her and pet her Day and night showering her with love. From the living room, to the kitchen, My desk to the bathroom watch her roam. God Bless the feline in my home sweet home. God Bless the feline in my home sweet home.
Oh, one more thing! Daddy says to feel free to substitute "Pussycat" for Feline...the piece works fine either way....
Good afternoon, felinity assembled, especially anyone visiting for the first time!
My name is Friday. I'm a bearded lady cat!
I am the youngest member of the team, at almost 3, and the one with the fewest writing credits to her name on this blog.
A year without a computer did not help in that regard, but, anyway...it's my turn to post as we settle in for Daddy Kiril attending the Cat Writers' Association Conference, beginning this evening.
This post is about Daddy Kiril.
He is a human of many parts and interests.
He has been around animals all his life, mostly Dogs thru the 90's, before his personal and creative lives were forever changed by adopting a Maine Coon kitten he named Nikita, in 1998.
His politics are Conservative, his faith Christian, and we three picked that up from him, but his friends and fans are a varied lot, across the political and cultural spectrum, as are ours.
He found a way to share all of these interests in an entertaining, fashionable, way, by putting 15 Lapel Pins and a couple of buttons on his Stetson.
Hats are a thing in Texas, you see...not just as a fashion statement, but to keep the sun from boiling your head on particularly hot days, especially if you are partially, or totally, bald.
Anyway, more on that in a bit....first, though...
Doesn't he look handsome!
We wanted him to dress in bright colors for the 2 main days of the conference, or at least in Calvin Klein...but except for his undies, that didn't happen.
He found some fancy Haggar pants on extreme sale at JC Penney and a nice shirt at Walmart.
The tie is years old and still looks good, though it has not been seen in public for a number of years.
Anyway, it will do. The badge and dangles allow the Opinionated Pussycat to "represent" and his walking stick/monopod allow him to bring Nikita to the conference as well, as you can see just below where his hand holds the stick.
Now, to the pins!
Daddy is a writer...
A Pundit...and more.
As was Nikita...and so are we three girls.
He is a walker...
and Cat Man.
He does not drive a car so gets around in other ways.
He walks and rides mass transit and brings his camera along for interesting photo opportunities, especially of cats encountered on the street.
He has been writing about "Place" for 15 years and explains it this way:
"I like sharing my travel experiences, and my thoughts on the things I see in the world we live in, because it helps my writing skills, and may spur readers to get out and explore their own surroundings."
He is a fan of Henry David Thoreau, and was inspired by him:
"Thoreau expressed the view that “he who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all.”
Well, I wouldn’t go THAT far, in my case, hee, hee, but I do feel sometimes, sad, alone and uninspired by spending so much of my free time stuck at home, unable to get out and about and engage with my outside environment and those I encounter in it, animal and human.
There is so much I can’t afford to do, yet there is much that I CAN do that money is not needed for.
I have never had much of a social life beyond that which my online activities have allowed me to get out and experience over the years and that is a little discouraging at times.
To paraphrase Thoreau: Every walk, mass transit, and bike, ride I take is a sort of crusade, preached by this Kiril the Mad Macedonian, Houstonian, or Cycling Dude, to go forth and reconquer the “Holy Land” of his surroundings from the hands of seemingly disinterested infidels.
Money may buy some bus fare for my Q-Card, lunch or dinner, an event or venue ticket, and some other things, but the leisure, freedom, and independence my adventures afford me come, as Thoreau says, by the Grace of God."
That's our Daddy! It is because of him, and what he has taught us, that we feel our blog is somewhat different and unique in the pet blogging world.
It is a blog that does things in ways unfamiliar, maybe even uncomfortable, to many, especially those unfamiliar with even the most popular precincts of pet blogging and pet-themed fiction and non-fiction books and poetry.
He is also a bike rider and this is another way that he gets around, far away from where he normally walks and bikes.
On his bike he encounters felines on the street that he might not notice while walking.
To quote daddy once more....
"When I walk or bike I go where ever the spirit or even, muse moves me to plan an excursion to, or where personal needs lead me to on a shopping expedition, appointment, or other business.
I can feel just as comfortable in and inspired by, a beach, a park, and on a mountain road as in a mall, a bookstore, thrift store, grocery store, or big box store. Something in an office or at an event can inspire me as well....
To paraphrase Thoreau, again:
There is, in fact, a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of ones’ surroundings within a circle of 10-80 mile radius, or the limits one puts on oneself by mode of transport or lack thereof, & the seven score and ten of human life.
It will never become quite familiar to you."
He believes this will be true of Houston, Harris County, and their neighbor cities and counties, and the state of Texas as a whole.
Daddy Kiril has his own blog, The Mad Macedonian, which keeps him out of our fur when he's not helping us out, here. The link, for the curious, is in the sidebar.
So, there, you go...this is a look at Daddy Kiril.
And, as I said, above...He's all ours! Um, hee, hee!
I hope you found this bit of background interesting.
"to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. We do this by helping end the killing in America's animal shelters through building community programs & partnerships all across the nation."
They have regional programs, network partners, no-kill initiatives.
They have spay and neuter programs and promote adoption vs buying.
In May Harris County Animal Shelter made an important announcement:
They "launched today a joint three-year program to save the lives of cats in Harris County.
This is a significant action for Harris County; not only are we implementing a best practice that will help bring our community to the forefront of animal welfare in in Texas, but more importantly, the program will save the lives of thousands of cats each year, and over time, reduce the number of free-roaming cats in the community.
Harris County Animal Shelter is profoundly grateful to Judge Emmet and the Harris County Commissioners, as well as Best Friends Animal Society for their generous support of this program."
A major effort to boost Trap, Neuter and Release efforts in the region is very welcome, indeed.
The program assists efforts in 2 ways:
Assistance with humanely trapping free-roaming cats so that they can be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped and returned to their home area (Ear-tipping is the universal symbol of a spayed or neutered outdoor cat)
Assistance with resolving cat-related issues, such as spraying, fighting or unwanted litters
"Community Cats"...I like that as a respectable alternative to stray and feral, terms that often have a negative connotation among humans.
As Best Friends says..."Nearly three-quarters of cats who enter our nation’s animal shelters each year are killed. Most are free-roaming, stray or feral cats. Here at Best Friends, we refer to them as community cats. Although some of these cats are adoptable, many more are not. And for unadoptable cats, a trip to the shelter is often fatal."
Daddy Kiril has, for years, taken photos of outdoor cats, those who are feral and those indoor cats with outdoor inclinations.
He has seen cats in funny situations and seen cats being cared for by neighbors in an apartment complex we once lived in.
Houston now has its own special, regional, page on the Best Friends site, and I love it!
They clearly let visitors know what they want to do in working with 11 Coalition partners in the region, including about the new Community Cats Program:
"Working collaboratively with city shelters, local animal welfare organizations and passionate individuals to save the lives of pets in shelters in Houston and the surrounding areas. To guide this work and help Houston become a no-kill city for cats and dogs."
The list is a who's who of local rescues, shelters, and clinics and provides links to each one.
The Opinionated Pussycats encourage Houstonians to check out this page and the organizations it links to.
In early 2014 this blog did a special series on the stray cat and dog crisis in Houston and Harris County.
As I wrote at the time....
"The people of Houston, for the most part, love their animal companions, from cats and dogs, to rabbits, parakeets, chickens, fish, hamsters and ferrets among others (Daddy Kiril sees evidence of this, every day, on his job as a cashier at Walmart), however there is simply no denying that Houston has a huge problem concerning dogs and cats.
It is a problem that has existed for decades, maybe even as far back as the 19th century, in one form or another. Shelter, rescue and adoption efforts also have a long history here but have not been able to make a serious dent in the problem the city faces."
Houston We Have a Problem is a photo and link filled 5 part series, from Feb. thru the end of March, that begins here....just follow the links, from post to post.
As this past week went on plans were made for events this weekend, meant to bring attention to the needs of these forsaken animals and the shelter that took them in.
Houston is where pet blogging got its early start and media attention, in 2004, the birth place of The Carnival of the Cats ( Carnival of the Cats (2004-15) - Legacy & Links ), but, as far as we know, where pet blogging is concerned around these parts, these days....we 3, and our friends, in Spring, at Grace & the Kittens, may be it.
"What we were able to accomplish together in just 5 days is nothing less than incredible--545 animals' lives saved! This is all because a community came together to make a positive difference in their world--thank you Harris County/Houston!"