Sunday, May 1, 2016

There's a New Cat in Town!

It's been really nice to hear from so many of you who have missed this little blog while I took an unplanned, extended break.  I've been away from home a lot in the past few months - visiting with family, attending Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge and AQS in Paducah, with a couple of quilting retreats thrown in for good measure.  All in all, good things but they didn't leave time for blogging.

However, this little charmer is one of the main reasons for my blogging absence .... meet Rocky!

As many of you will remember, we lost our sweet Gypsy a year and a half ago, and decided to take a while to just be the two of us before thinking about adding another cat to the family.  Because of her age (18-1/2), Gypsy had lots of health issues which required that at least one of us be at home to care for her daily, so travel or vacations were just not possible the last five years she was with us.  We weren't looking for another kitty, not even close .... but I ask you, how could I resist this little guy?

First cuddle!
See the snow on the ground?

Rocky stole my heart in early April when I went to visit my mom in the NC mountains.  He had a home down the road from them, but mostly chose to live outdoors.  Several months earlier, smart kitty that he is, he decided that he wanted to be Mom's kitty - probably because he was jealous of their cat, Gus, who pretty much gets treated royally like the King he is.  He had taken to sitting on their doorstep and begging to come in every time they opened the door.  But they couldn't let him in because Gus had already made it clear that he would not accept another cat in the house.  They were terribly worried about him because quite a few cats had begun disappearing from the area - taken by coyotes.  His mom and at least a couple of his siblings had already met that terrible fate.

That look on his face .... "Yep, she's mine!"
(And look at that totally adorable dirty little nose!)

I took one look at him and thought he was simply adorable.  Definitely too cute to become coyote fodder!!!  My defenses were broken down further when I picked him up and he began to purr happily and curled himself up contentedly in my arms.  Since he was primarily an outdoor cat, he still had his thick, furry winter coat - the first night I was there it snowed! - and felt like a cuddly teddy bear.  He was also dirty and covered in fleas and ear mites, and had an open abscess the size of a quarter behind one ear where he had been defending his territory.  He was a typical 3-year-old tomcat, and not even close to what I would ordinarily have chosen for our next kitty.  I resisted.  I really did.  At least the first day.

After that, I was a goner.  My poor husband was so understanding.  Even though he really wasn't ready for a new cat, he told me to bring him home if I really wanted him.  He said he was surprised it had taken me this long to fall in love with one.  He knows me pretty well, doesn't he?

Rocky has adjusted to being an indoor kitty much more easily than I thought he would

So I brought this little mountain kitty home, pretty much put him through torture at the vet's office the first couple of days, and then we began to think of names for him.  We really had a hard time coming up with a name for him - something that fit him perfectly that we both liked.

See those super sharp claws?
Yep, we had to clip them pretty quickly!

My first choice was Dickens, because he is so fun-loving and precocious, and I loved the connection to my love of reading.  But no one else liked it.  I suggested Teddy because of his fat little chipmunk cheeks (Theodore of Alvin & the Chipmunks!) and his soft pelt, but my husband said he needed a more dignified name.  Around and around we went with no name really working for us.  We tried to think of something that would harken back to his NC mountain roots, but nothing seemed to be that just-right name.  Finally I declared enough was enough and named him Dickens.

For three whole days, he was Dickens.  Until I decided to look up the name "Dickens" to see what it means and where it comes from.  And learned that it is another name for the devil!!!  Whoa Nelly!!!!  No way was I going to be calling the devil's name every time I called my sweet cat!  I went running downstairs and told my husband, "That's it.  We have to change his name!"  He laughed when I told him why, but agreed that it had to go, especially since he had never liked it to begin with.  But we were back to square one.

How could such a sweet little guy have such a wicked name?  No way!

Later in the day, My Guy said it was hard for him to think of names because the little guy was still very shy of him and had not had a lot to do with him.  He hadn't had a chance to get to know his personality.  I said he hadn't survived for 3 years in coyote-infested mountains without being cautious and he would learn to trust him.  I said, "He's a survivor and deserves a strong name."  Immediately, my husband said, "Rocky!"  Because the band Survivor sang Eye of the Tiger as the theme song for the Rocky movie.  We both knew right away that it was the right name, even if it was for a convoluted reason LOL!  And to top it off, the road that leads to my mom's house is called Rocky Lane.

Did you want to use my iPad this morning, Mom?  I'm a little busy here ....

It has been an adventure incorporating little Rocky into our home!  He's a ball of energy and I have had to practically child-proof our home!  He's learning not to claw the furniture, not to pull pins from the pincushion, not to wake me up at 5 in the morning to play ... well, we're still working on that one!  Thankfully he had been trained to a litter box as a kitten and picked up that habit quickly!

Nope!  Not writing in your notebook this morning!
I think I'm going to have to confiscate this here pencil.....

He pretty much believes that anything that takes my attention away from him should be destroyed, or at least pushed out of the way.  In typical cat fashion, he immediately lays on top of my iPad, computer keyboard, organizer - anything that keeps me from holding or petting him!

Whatcha doin' Mom?

But he loves being a Quilter's kitty!

He always seems to decide that this is the most comfortable chair in the house when I'm ready to sew....

And he found this quilt on the back of the sofa his first day with us!

Does he look content, or what?  

Then, a few days later he discovered my favorite blue-and-white Pineapple Blossom on the recliner in the studio and made himself at home....

I have so many photos of Gypsy sitting on this same quilt - such bittersweet memories!

Gypsy - taken during her last year with us.
(Can you tell from her expression that she wasn't quite as "sweet" as Rocky? LOL!)

Then yesterday, I laid my Montego Bay quilt on the sewing table while I cut strips for binding it.  When I came back to the table to sew the strips on, this is what I saw....

So hopefully I'll get that binding on today.  I need to take it to my guild meeting on Tuesday as my monthly UFO Challenge project.  As I'm typing this post, he's back on the quilt this morning, watching me calmly and sending me telepathic messages about my chances of reclaiming "his" quilt.

What do you think of my chances of getting this quilt bound by Tuesday?
Yeh, me neither =^..^=

Hugs & Blessings!


  1. I love heart warming stories like this! That's so wonderful that you adopted him and I bet he feels like he's now in kitty heaven :-) Pets add so much to our daily lives, don't they?
    It's good to hear from you again!

  2. Perfect name for a kitty with a Rocky start and from a Rocky area. He is just adorable and looks like he is happy to be part of the family.

  3. Congrats! on choosing a new quilt accessory. He looks like a sweety and he appears to feel right at home!

  4. Lucky cat, lucky You! He looks like a real charmer.

  5. Rocky is beyond adorable. And he has considerable posing skills for a mountain cat. He's even showing off advanced paw poses in that last pose. And computer skills! I also think that its funny that you thought you got to choose whether to have a cat or not.

  6. Oh Teresa, he is a total charmer! How could you not have brought him home. He obviously loves his new home and is the perfect quilt tester. You've taught him well my friend, lol!

  7. What a perfect name -- and he is ABSOLUTELY adorable and precocious and photogenic and . . . just wonderful!

  8. Ahhhhh....he is beautiful and is one lucky kitty to have found such a wonderful home. Good luck on that quilting!!!

  9. Rocky is so adorable, and I am so glad that you rescued him. My newest baby is quite the pill in the sewing room, too. So much so that I have to keep the door closed unless I am in there, and then I really have to watch her!

  10. Oh I had a cat when I was a teenager that I named Rocky Rascal Raccoon; Rocky for short. He had coloring like a raccoon. Enjoy your Rocky he is a handsome cat. Glad to see you are blogging again.

  11. Rocky is adorable. He has definitely made himself at home. I hope you can get some sewing done.

  12. Rocky is a beautiful cat! So glad for him and you that he now has a wonderful home. It looks like he has taken possession of everything in the house!

  13. What a gorgeous cat! And the name seems meant to be. Seems to have acclimated very well to a quilter's home and already knows he is in charge! : )
    Sounds like you have been out and about quite a bit lately. Hope you have had all kinds of fun adventures.

  14. What a heartwarming story. Rocky is adorable ... no wonder he stole your heart.

  15. Oh my goodness he is sooo wonderful! No wonder you were smitten :)
    I think you could work together to get that binding on ... moving him gently around the quilt when you are ready to stitch the next side of the quilt!

  16. Such an endearing "tail". Rocky is utterly purr-fect.

  17. Welcome back. I missed you and know how easy it is to get busy and not blog for a spell. I think your Rocky is so pretty and has quite the purrsenality too. I love how he has made himself at home in your sewing room. And so talented on the ipad too!! He definitely is a keeper.!!

  18. He's a beauty, no doubt about it! Must be the season for giving kitties home - we have a new family member as of 2.00pm this afternoon, I shall be posting the story on my blog tomorrow!

  19. Best wishes to you and Rocky. I really enjoyed reading about him!

  20. Such a special post. Thank you for sharing the story and the beautiful photographs.

  21. Nice to see you back! Your new kitty could be the brother of our Mocha! She also was rescued but from our yard when I realized she'd been let go by someone and had no front claws. Rocky's coloring is very similar.

  22. Awwww...I just love this story! He is so pretty (guess I should say handsome) - just adorable. So glad that he is ok with being an inside kitty - I bet he feels so much better - no fleas, sores, etc. Nice and clean with lots of beautiful quilts to claim as his own! Congrats on your new baby!

  23. Heyyyyyyyyy Rockie! You are a handsome devil, and I think you have stolen someones heart.

  24. He IS adorable - I'd say you are both lucky to have found each other!

  25. Well, he is just adorable...and so photogenic! Looks like he's a total love bug. They're hard to resist when they snuggle up to you first thing.

  26. What a handsome kitty, so photogenic! I hope you have as many wonderful years with rocky as you did with gypsy.

  27. I love grey cats. Rocky looks like he just melts into your arms, ready for all the love you have to give him. From your photos he seems to have an expressive personality. I know he'll be a great asset to you in your quilting efforts, Teresa!

  28. Rocky is a total cutie. How wonderful you made him part of your family and probably saved his life. He must feel SO much better without fleas etc.


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