Monday, May 30, 2011

Mancat Monday!

One ManCat, Al of the Pittsburgh Al's And Ravi of the Nemani-Stanger clan!

Always Remember...Memorial Day 2011

Teri always does this post every Veteran's Day on her 'human' blog...but today we thought we would ask her to post it her on our cat blog today, cuz not many of our cat furrends follow Teri's blog (we keep her too busy with our blog for her to do much with hers!)...

When I was 14 years old, my favorite uncle was shot down in Vietnam, and the missing him is as strong today as it was when I was a child.

He will always be young in my mind, playing the trombone, driving a turquoise and cream Chevrolet Bel Air and taller than any adult I had ever seen. He left behind his wife (my favorite aunt) and a son and daughter, too.

When I moved from Oregon to Virginia, one of the first things I wanted to do was visit the Vietnam Memorial and find his name and put a picture of the car he had, as I had no photos of him. The memorial is the most moving place to be, and my favorite, if that is the right word, of all the monuments I have visited, because it is so, somber, that feeling of going underground. But also such a wonderful tribute to those who never made it back to their homes, their families, their lives ahead of them...

I had never googled his name before, but I did on Memorial Day one year, and this is what I found...

Name: Ralph Carol Balcom, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Date of Birth: 24 December 1933
Home City of Record: Seattle WA
Date of Loss: 15 May 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam (see text)
Loss Coordinates: 171200N 1064000E (XE100100)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F105D
Other Personnel In Incident: None Missing

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.

SYNOPSIS: Ralph Balcom Jr. was shot down over North Vietnam about 20 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone in Quang Binh Province. A radio signal indicated that Major Balcom had parachuted to the ground, but because of zero visibility at the time, search planes were not able to locate and rescue him.

Two months later a propaganda film appeared with a man Ralph's parents immediately recognized as their son being paraded down the streets of Hanoi. The U.S. Government later identified the man as a returned POW Kyle Berg, also from the state of Washington.

In November 1973, the Air Force discovered that Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) in Nakhon Phanom was carrying Balcom as a Prisoner of War while Defense Intelligence Agency carried him as Missing In Action. The Air Force directed JCRC to delete any reference pertaining to POW status in Balcom's files. Balcom's status was changed from Prisoner of War to Missing in Action, although analysts say today that JCRC records were the most accurate and complete because of their close proximity to the region.

JCRC also lists Balcom as being lost in Laos, not North Vietnam. The loss coordinates, 171200N 1064000E are in North Vietnam about 20 miles north of the DMZ. Grid coordinates XE100100 are located a few miles northwest of the Ban Karai Pass in Laos. It cannot be determined why there is a descrepancy in loss locations between agencies.

Today, over 45 years have passed since Ralph Balcom's last flight over Vietnam. His family is still not sure whether he is alive or dead. Over 10,000 reports of Americans still held captive have been received by the U.S. Isn't it time we brought these men home?

Ralph C. Balcom was promoted to the rank of Colonel during the period he was maintained a Prisoner of War and Missing in Action.

To my dear uncle...I will never forget.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cat Art Sunday...

Our sweet friend, Miss Peach, always does a beautiful Cat Art Sunday post, and we thought our furrends might like to see some of the 'cat art' around our house that Teri's collected over the years. It helps give our home it's 'purrsonality' (as if we don't add enough!)

A lovely Siamese tile

Another lovely find from a Cat Rescue booth at a cat show

You might be able to read the words that make this cat if you biggify it.

Bo and Spot and Cascais' Memorials

Kitties from Mexico

Do you see our Squillion?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Caturday Saturday--Kitten Scam!

As our furrends know, Teri works at a cat hospital and also bred Cornish Rex for 22 years. She was a very responsible and conscientous breeder and she was proud of that! She had a 4 page adoption application and lots of photos of our home to share with people, and made photo and movie albums for each person who got a kitten from her.

In all that time, she only lost track of 2 kitties and that was due to the families getting divorced and Teri tried and tried to contact them but their phone and email addresses and even their references led to dead ends after that. There is not a day that passes that she doesn't get sad over those 2 kitties, because she doesn't know what happened to them or where they are now...

She wanted to share a story with our readers that was brought to her attention by one of the clients at the cat hospital. This lady's daughter wanted to add a Siberian kitty to her life and this is what happened to her when she answered a 'scam' ad! The FBI are now involved and hopefully this bad person will be arrested and put behind bars!

March 17th, 2011

I have one that will make you cry. I am a Marine who has been deployed 3 times to Iraq. I am still in the service and wanted kittens since my deployment cycle has stopped for the time being. I went on to and looking for kittens.

An ad was posted for Siberian kittens that were ready to be brought home. I emailed the lady and she told me she could ship them to me. I live in VA and she in Sunrise, FL. We had to communicate via email because she said she has an acoustic neuroma that has affected her hearing to the point of being deaf. She only asked for me to send the money for shipping and half of the price of the kittens. A total of $720 dollars. This is not out of the box for getting these kittens and for shipping an animal. She said she only liked dealing with cash and I didn’t have a problem with that. She gave a great amount of detail on the kittens that was compared to all the information I researched about Siberians. Apparently she did too!

She set up shipping, I received an email from a “JetPet Relocators” with flight information, times, the papers coming with the kittens, Royal Canin food, and who would be deliverying the pets to me. All of it looked on the up and up. Then an hour before they were to be delivered I receive an email telling me the kittens have been delayed at the transit point and require a temperature controlled crate for transport because they were under 3 lbs. I tried getting a hold of the point of contact at the phone number listed with the travel info, but I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. She emailed me and told me she got a hold of the people at JetPet and she could get payment to them the next morning if I just wired her the money and because the crates were a returnable deposit I would get the money back on my end when the crates were returned to the company upon a post travel vet check of the kittens.

I called my mom and had her call her vet to see if this all sounded correct. She told me her vet said it is sometimes necessary to use those crates depending on the company. So I sent the money..another $750. The next day, I got another email from JetPet telling me a temp health insurance had to be purchased which was refundable too. At this point, I knew something was up. The land line for JetPet is in another subburb of Ft Lauderdale FL called Hollywood FL. The distance between where she said she lived and where this land line is based is too far for traveling based on someone who is actually suffering from acoustica neuroma. Of course I have emailed the company repeatedly and called with no answer. I have not heard from the woman I was purchasing the kittens from. Her supposed name is Alleck Hathaway from Sunrise FL.

It’s is heartbreaking that I have served my country to defend the rights of this person. It is truly discouraging and shakes the very foundation of what I have to have with the person to my left and to my right in combat. It’s amazing how people like this have the rights they do in our country. I know I’ll never use classified ads or any thing other than seeing something in person ever again.

Frootbat Friday 'n More...

Meow! Almost 3 weeks since our last mewsy post! And we haven't visited our furrends bloggies in furrever! So, today we surrounded Teri and sat her down to do some work for us, for a change!

We learned that Carm had to let Sunny fly free...he was such a handsome and sweet boycat. And that Samson had to be helped to the bridge, too. And that Tommy lost his battle with heart disease and crossed the bridge. We send our heartfelt purrs to their humans...

We missed Miss Peach's Blogoversary and Suki's birthday, too. We are glad to hear that Eric & Flynn's mum is home and they are being good 'nursecats' for her. And we are glad that Gino found his way back home, too.

Thanks, ML & the Cat Blogosphere for keeping us in touch even when we can't visit much! We will try to do better about visiting, but Teri has been so busy we don't even see her sitting at the computer much these days!

Everyone is busy outside now in their gardens, we do know that. Some people even take 'Blogcations' during the summer cuz there is so much to do outside! Teri says while some chores, like scoopin the boxes and cleaning the house, are never ending, she is getting some things done that actually can get crossed off the 'list' and soon she'll have more time to blog again!

She spent last Friday powerwashing the house and deck, then 8 hours Saturday staining the underside of the deck. She wants to finish the top of it on Monday, her extra day off this week cuz of Memorial Day! Soon that job will be crossed off the list, too!

She did take some time off for fun on Sunday though and went to a garden, of all places, with a friend. Then they stopped for some yummy Mexican food and since Teri wasn't driving, she had to indulge with a marvelous Margarita. Here's some photos she took at

And she is finished with interviewing for a Vet Tech and the new LVT started yesterday and all the staff love her already! So, that's crossed off her list! They are having a new website made and there will be photos of all the staff and their cats on it, so yesterday Disco got to go in for his 'photo shoot'...we guess he got picked cuz he makes people and cats (like the Admiral and Stella) swoon when they see him...

Then the guy in the brown shorts delivered some packages to us cats yesterday, so that kinda made up for Disco getting to be a 'Star'...

We were invited to 'test drive' a couple of new things and we love our new SunnySeat Perch! We even liked the box it came in! Teri tried a couple of places to see if we had a preference and here's some photos of us testing them out!

Teri likes the fact that the perch is a nice hammock instead of a flat, hard surface, and that the canvas cover comes off to wash if needed. And she likes that they are unobtrusive and don't block the view out the windows. And that they don't take up any floor space either.

We like that we have a new place to watch the people and doggies and birdies outside and that we can curl up and nap on them comfortably, too. We all give them a 4-Paw rating, that's A+ in human lingo!

And Teri can't remember which blogger invited us to try the 'As Seen On TV' ShedMonster, but two of them arrived yesterday, too! We kinda said HaHaMeow even though it said 'Great for cats too!' but Teri said she remembered telling them that our cats are either nude or have very short furs, but that she had some cat and dog friends who would try them out and report back.

So she gave one to our pet sitter who has lotsa doggies and kitties with furrs and she is letting the VET try one out at the Cat Hospital on the kitties that visit there! We will let you know how they work...

And we know you are all wondering if we have gotten to go down in the basement yet...NO! But Teri is having a party on June 18th and inviting all the people at the cat hospital where she works to have an 'Open Basement' celebration and she tells us the door will be flung open, never to be shut again! The only dogs that are invited are Chili Dogs, hahameow!

She's hoping we don't get miffed that there is an introoder outside that she has named TomTom and that we (um, Disco and Coco) don't start at first she said we will be 'monitored' when we are watching 'Cat TV' down there.

Oh...and the turtle, TuuTuu, has returned again, too! Yep, Teri saw him snacking on TomTom's dry kibble this morning! Cute, huh?!

And finally...kitten update! Colby and Cheddar (aka Harry & William) are little can-mats now, 15 weeks old, got neutered and microchipped on Wednesday. Teri is getting their 'Kitten Care Kits' together and then she will deliver them to their new families in Annapolis, Maryland on June 5th. She will send them with a CD of all their pictures and enough tinsel balls to keep them entertained til they 'hide' them all.

Things might be a little quiet after they leave their birth home here, but it will mean more purrsonal time with Teri without having to share the limelight with those little houligans! Here's a couple of the latest photos:

Well, that's all the mews from Curlz and Swirlz...we hope we can visit some of your bloggies tonight while Teri's watching a movie! She is going to something called a Wine Tasting tomorrow and then on Sunday she's going to visit Duncan and his family (remember, he's the iPad Painting kitty) and then go with them to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie...sounds busy but fun (we'll nap and scan the outdoors from our SunnySeats while she's gone!)

Disclaimer: We are happy to be a part of the product reviews for The Sunny Seat and The Shed Monster, and we did receive free product to use and review, and keep! However, all of the opinions about the product are ours and not dictated in any way by the company.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Shhhhhh...Mr Binkers is sleeping!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Simply Sunday Mornin, Mother's Day, and More!

Here we go again...

We thought that once a week posting to our blog was a sad statement as to the performance of our secretary, but as our followers's gotten worse! It's been a month since a mewsy repurrt, even though we think Teri did a good job with the Easter Lily post, it was a repost from last Easter! And well, we think Duncan did all the work on the cute video post and Teri can't take any credit for that!

Thanks to all our fans for stickin with us with our infrequent updates...Teri says she's gonna improve, but time will tell! Besides workin' on the basement and gettin' out in the garden, she is in the middle of interviewing for a new LVT where she works (that's one of the persons who pokes us at the vets, hahameow).

She's been busy working in the garden and we hear it looks pretty with some new birdhouses (Thanks, mom, for such a thoughtful present!)

And the pretty plants are growin' (we don't go outside, so we can't tell you how tasty they might be, but the nip is growin!). We might have to join in 'Thursday in the Garden' soon, as Teri's been kinda successful with gardening this spring but we can't take any credit for it!

Our garden gnome, from Cornwall England
(Teri just repaired and painted him)

Part of the hummer trellis for the honeysuckle vine...

Nip for us! Mint for Teri's Mojitos!

This is a variety of Coral Bells called Key Lime Pie!

A new garden kitty

The chives starting to flower

And more garden cats...

Including, TomTom!

And we will have to tell ya that the basement is down to one pile about the size of a coffee table (do they still call 'em that??) and as soon as Teri's finished, she'll take you all on a video tour of our place, including the basement!

She said it would be be ready for our viewing pleasure today, Mother's Day! But we have her working on our blog instead of in the basement...

In cleaning up the closets in the basement, she decided to donate some of our old cat beds, litterboxes, carriers and toys to two local rescue groups,

and some of our extra cat PTU's to

a couple of weeks ago. And a client at the cat hospital where Teri works donated a bunch of cat food for Teri to give to the rescue of her choice, and she donated it to another local group,

Just trying to Be the Change and help some kitties that deserve to have a soft bed and some yummy food, and oh yeah, carriers to be rescued in, too!

And let's see...what else has happened round here in the past month?? Oh, we had some company and that was real fun, as we had a new playmate and sleeping companion! Teri's niece, Erin, came from Oregon for the weekend, on her way up to Philadelphia for work and we all had a great weekend!

We got a little confused cuz our foods got moved from the guest bathroom (Disco can't eat dry food cuz he's on a diet, so she hides it in the guest bathroom for the rest of us to snack on from time to time) into her bathroom as she thought maybe Erin would appurrciate it if she didn't have to step on dry crunchies, as we sort of are messy eaters.

Here are some photos of the fun all us cats and Teri had with Erin:

This is a small portion of huge crocheted Coral Reef--an amazing exhibit at the Smithsonian

Teri in the gardens near the Smithsonian Museum

Teri enjoying the white sangria at her favorite restaurant, Jaleo in Washington, DC.

Erin with her new favorite beverage, too!

and the delightful flan we shared for dessert at Jaleo

And another scrumptious dessert, something with blueberries , at Leopold's in Georgetown.

And, finally, some 'fresh' news on the kittens, aka Cheese Nips! Since our last post, they have grown into fine little boycats, kinda...

They are already 13 weeks old, and in another few weeks will be packing their bags and moving to their new homes...furry exciting! They have had free run of the house for a couple of weeks now, and while still a bit shy around new people (for about 10 minutes, hahameow), they are sweet and loving and there's nuffin' sweeter than getting bunts from a lil kitten!

They sit on Teri's lap when she's on the computer and aren't as pesty as us big cats (ie: don't walk on the keyboard and knock things off the desk). They keep busy playing with each other's tails, hahameow!

The 2 families waiting for them came for another visit last weekend and we all just laid on the floor and let them play around us! Of course, Disco got lots of attention too, and purred his rumbliest purrs with happiness! Brighton 'porpoised' and loved on everyone, and Coco did her usual shoulder riding performance (umm, she bites hair, too...). Kiki made an appearance or two, just to make sure she didn't miss out on anything.

And just cuz we know Ms Stella can't live without seeing Disco from time to time, here's a pix for her...Disco says she can join him in the 'Tunnel of Love'!!

And us CurlieSwirlie cats had another visitor that day, too! Our friend Carol, from

Coffee, Cats & Yarn,

came over to help Teri with a few '2-person' jobs and to pet on us a bunch, and she stayed for dinner---yummy BBQ'd steaks, grilled peppers and artichokes with butter (well, we didn't get any of the noms, but those two humans sure were purrin').

Then Carol went through our closet of cat clothes (really just a storage box) to pick out something girly for her one girl cat, Maus to wear to


in August. We had to laff n laff when she said 'Everything's Pink!'...Oh, Carol! Don't buy any pearls, we have a few different styles to choose from in necklaces, too!

But things kinda went south on Sunday, when lil Cheddar threw up, then had the squirts in the litter box. Teri gave him some tummy meds and took both Cheddar & Colby in to work with her on Monday. With the help of the vets, doing some tests and some medicine, too...they both were feeling fine again by Friday.

They didn't have any intestinal parasites, no bacterial overgrowth, no sign of a virus (no fever and normal CBC) so we don't really know what made them sick (could be just the little bit of stress from having visitors? Or maybe even time to stop snacking at the 'Milk Bar') but Teri was glad she could take them into work with her each day and monitor them closely.

And today is Mother's Day and for all our complaining, we do think Teri is great cat mom and we know she is purroud of us...just look at her car which shows everyone she is a 'Cat Mom'! (Click on the photo to biggify it).

She took us out strollering this weekend, too. She took Disco and Brighton to the

Pet Fiesta

yesterday (it should have been called a Pee-esta as it was mostly doggies there and well, you know how they are!) but it was fun and we got to see Dr Fern, who Teri used to work with. She had a booth with Ingrid King, of

The Conscious Cat

Dr Fern makes human and cat jewelry out of stones and crystals that have special ways of making the person or cat wearing it feel good. She gave Brighton and Disco one of those special stones to attach to their collars.

Then today, Teri took Coco and Kiki out for their very first stroll, and they went about 2 miles and they loved it! Teri said she thinks she could get 4 of us into the AT3, so maybe next weekend we all can have an outing!

After they got back, we all continued our naps, 'cept for Teri...who was still workin' on our blog! And now we'll let all of you get back to your naps, hahameow. Reading always makes one sleepy, doesn't it?!