Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Flash

This picture, which was taken with a flash, is from October 2009.  Scarlett was exploring some catnip that I had just put on the bottom shelf of the cat tree, and as you can see, she was very much enjoying it!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Snoozing Mellybelly

Somehow, Melly is extra super cute when she is drowsy.  I always want to scoop her up and snuggle her, but that would break the spell.  Also, she'd never get any sleep that way.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Climbing the Bookshelf

Scarlett and Melly are enjoying the new location of the tall bookshelf as it gives them another high place from which to keep an eye on the living room.  And Melly, who is usually pretty protective of the high spots, actually allows Scarlett a turn every now and again.

A couple of responses to comments yesterday:
  • The Laurel Burch cloth that Scarlett was sitting on is a catnip quilt by Stacy Hurt.  I got it at a benefit auction a while ago and the cats love it.  The vibrant fabric is certainly a bonus!
  • Scarlett's expression was a "come kiss my forehead" look, or at least, that's how I interpreted it and she didn't protest!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

An Alarming Encounter

Recently, I was enjoying a quiet evening in my living room with the windows open.  The kitties were each hanging out in a window, sniffing at the fresh air.  I was engrossed in something on the computer when I suddenly heard a loud THUNK of cat against glass and a wail from Scarlett.  I turned around and discovered that the orange neighbor cat was at the window!  Neighbor cats usually visit at the more secluded bedroom windows, so I was very surprised to see the orange kitty.  My surprise lasted about .2 seconds, and then I lunged across the living room to shut the windows.  Scarlett was Not Pleased to have the windows closed and continued to hurl herself at the glass.  On the other side, the orange cat paced around and glared at Scarlett.  Melly stood by and squeaked.

Strangely enough, another cat came to visit the living room window the next day: a small gray one with the same huge amber eyes as the orange cat.  I'd never seen the gray cat before, and I haven't seen him since.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Advice Request

Tabitha left the following comment the other day:

 Hey every one!! We have three cats (1 huge tabby and 2 smaller Burmese) and we are thinking of getting a cat tree. Any one have ones they like, or know what I should be looking for in a cat tree?!?!? THANKS! cat people rock.

The Armarkat tree I got for Scarlett about four years ago, which has since been taken over by Melly, has worked out nicely. (It's this one, if you want the specs.)  It's stable--crucial for when Melly does this--and has held up well to frequent vacuuming.

Anyone else have any advice for Tabitha?

On an unrelated subject, here are Scarlett and Melly, keeping a close watch on the living room and the great outdoors.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It's a little hard to tell, but Melly's back feet are twisted around completely opposite from where they should be.  Seriously, her skeleton is made of rubber.

Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Caught in the act!

Remember a while ago when it was determined that Melly had absconded with the treat bin?  Well, recently, I had the treats on the coffee table when Melly started poking around.  I was sitting at my desk with my back to her, and sneakily videotaped over my shoulder so she wouldn't notice that I was watching.  Here's what happened:


Regarding Kitty CorneredConnie had the idea to pass the book around to everyone who's interested. I think that's a great idea! So, let's start it off with Connie.  Connie, please shoot me an email (scarlettandmelly[at]gmail[dot]com) with your mailing address and I'll send the book your way!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Kitty Cornered'

When Geoff and I were at the bookstore buying Melly's torture device jersey, I happened upon the book Kitty Cornered on the sale rack.  It looked cute, so I picked it up and read it the next day.  James Herriot's books (All Creatures Great and Small, etc.) are still my favorite animal stories, but Kitty Cornered was a fun read.  I laughed out loud several times, usually at the author's description of his feline friends, who are thoroughly hilarious and strange.  In true cat fashion, they've completely taken over his life.

This isn't an official review (I'm getting zero compensation from anyone); I just thought my fellow cat lovers might be interested in the book.  If anyone would like my copy, I'll be happy to pass it along; just leave a note in the comments.  If more than one person is interested, I'll randomly pick someone on Saturday.

And now, here are a couple of pictures of Melly on the cat tree in its new location. I think she approves.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Scarlett gives us a scare

As some of you saw on Melly's facebook page, Scarlett caught her tail on fire Monday night.  She's completely fine, but my goodness, she gave me a fright.

There was a large, shallow candle on the shelf in the bathroom, and as I was walking through the hallway, I looked into the bathroom and thought I saw that the end of Scarlett's tail was in the candle. Sure enough, the last three or four inches of her tail were engulfed in flames.  I ran toward her, which scared her and caused her to jump off the shelf and run past me toward the living room.  Fortunately, her speed put out the flames, but I was worried that her fur might still be smoldering.  I also couldn't tell if she'd been injured, although her nonchalance suggested she hadn't been.

Geoff grabbed Scarlett and held her over the tub while I grabbed her tail, which she kept trying to tuck under herself, and doused most of her back end in cold water.  Charred fur crunched off her tail and went everywhere as I rinsed. Melly, ever curious, came to watch the proceedings, propping her front paws on the edge of the tub to get a better view.  Scarlett was thoroughly displeased at the whole situation and left poor Geoff rather bloody from her struggles.

Eventually, when I was satisfied that the flames were out and Scarlett was uninjured, we let her go to groom her tail fur back into place.  Although the fur at the end of her tail is a bit singed and patchy where it burnt unevenly, Scarlett is none the worse for wear.  The apartment, however, still smells a bit like scorched hair.  

Here is Scarlett prior to The Incident, snuggling with me while I watched a movie:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Since my desk chair (which is actually an old dining chair) is visible in the new living room arrangement, I decided to reupholster the seat with fabric that didn't clash.  Melly found the process fascinating, and perched on the corner of the coffee table to watch--and judge me--as I worked.

"I think you're doing it wrong."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Melly the Sports Fan

Geoff and I were at the University of Washington bookstore recently and while he was shopping for a golf shirt for his dad, I jokingly suggested that he get one of the tiny dog jerseys for Melly.  Jokingly suggested, mind you.  

The next thing I knew, he'd grabbed a Melly-sized jersey and was off to the cash register. 

And then this happened:

And here's a video.  I didn't think Melly would appreciate it being posted with its original soundtrack of my constant giggling (the laughing is also why the camera work is a bit shaky), so I added a soundtrack that I thought she might find more appropriate.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rearranging the Living Room

The furniture arrangement in the living room was starting to feel claustrophobic, so I decided to rearrange.  This involved tearing the whole living room and much of the bedroom apart and moving lots of heavy furniture around the apartment--unnecessarily, as it turned out, since I ended up putting a lot of the pieces back in their original positions.*  Geoff, who assisted in the moving, was thrilled by this.  

The cats weren't as freaked out as I expected by the moving, and Melly enjoyed having a perch in the middle of the room:

*In my defense, it should be noted that I created a scale drawing of the apartment and played with many different furniture layouts before actually starting to move anything.   It's just that it's really hard to tell how things will look when you're playing with silhouettes on a blueprint!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Melly Sulks

I'm not sure why she's sulking, but she sure does look grumpy! Well, I suppose she can't be perky and cheerful all the time. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Melly and the Chicken Leg

"Is this what I think it is? My very own chicken leg?"

"This must be what heaven tastes like."

Scarlett: "Need some help with that?"
Melly: "Buzz off, stripyface.  Get your own."

Note: Yes, I watched them carefully to make sure they didn't break the bones and eat any dangerous shards.  They just ate the meat and the other non-bone parts.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Melly's Illuminating Facts

There were some good questions for Melly in yesterday's comments, which I will answer after a quick belly floof break...

...and now, the answers:

Q: Rene said, "We would like to know her favorite treats (we know Scarlett has many)!"
A: Melly loves anything to do with chicken (baked chicken, raw chicken, chicken jerky, chicken jerky-wrapped rawhide, etc.) but her favorite by far is freeze-dried chicken.  She goes completely bananas over it.

Q: Simba asked, "does Melly shed white fur and black fur the same extent?"
A: I think she sheds more black fur than white, judging by the massive quantities of black cat hair that I'm perpetually brushing from the sofa slipcovers.  It's a bit hard to tell, though, since the white hair isn't as noticeable unless it's on my black clothes.

Q: BeadedTail and meowmeowmans asked which toys and games are Melly's favorites.
A: Melly's favorite toy by far is Da Bird.  I keep it on a high shelf in the closet so she can't get to it, and if I so much as brush by the toy, she comes running, all ready to play.  When she's amusing herself, Melly's favorite toys are crinkle balls.  She probably has about two dozen of them around the apartment, and every time I move a piece of furniture, I find at least four of them underneath.

Q: Katnip Lounge said, "We'd like to know if Melly's purr is soft or loud."
A: Melly's purr is quiet; unless you have your ear right up next to her, you can barely hear it.  Also, she's pretty stingy with her purr--she has to be positively blissful before her motor will start going.  Scarlett purrs if I so much as look in her direction, but with Melly, I have to earn that purr!  That makes it pretty rewarding when it happens, though.

Q: ABBY said, "WE'd like to know what is Melly's favorite napping spot?"
A: If I'm available as a napping venue, she likes to curl up on or around my feet.  If that isn't an option, Melly is partial to the sofas.  She sometimes drapes herself along the back of the couch, and sometimes smushes herself into the corner next to the arm.

Thanks for the great questions!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Melly gets an award!

Thank you to Audrey over at Simba's Antics for giving Melly this award! The recipient of the award is to share one illuminating fact about herself, but I've been racking my brain all weekend and I can't think of anything new to tell about Melly--her whole live has been lived quite publicly on the internet!  So, how about this: is there anything you'd like to know about Mellybelly?

Now, I am also supposed to pass this award on to five other kitties, so here they are:

1) Tucker at It's All About the Cats
2) Teddy at Huffle Mawson, Explorer Cat
3) Ayla at Mark's Mews
4) Casper at Cat's Cats
5) Jasmine at Princess Jasmine, from Kitten to Cat

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt: Clean

These pictures are from December 2009. I don't remember now why Scarlett needed a bath, but she probably got into something she shouldn't have.  Unsurprisingly, she did not enjoy this method of being cleaned and made the process as difficult as possible.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A little bit batty

Scarlett has a bit of fruitbat action going on:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Remember that box?

Yep, it's still here.

Note: please ignore the truly appalling condition of my floors.  I didn't realize they were that bad until the flash showed them in all their fur-covered glory.  Egads.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trish's Mom's Rhubarb Pie

After I made the strawberry rhubarb pie a couple weeks ago, Trish of Katnip Lounge sent me her mom's creamy rhubarb pie recipe.  I'd never had straight-up rhubarb pie before, so I was curious to try it, and did so on Sunday.  It was delicious!  A really excellent pie filling.

And, you guys, I finally conquered pie crust!  I have my perfect recipe!  There was much happy dancing in the kitchen of chez Natalie this weekend, let me tell you.  The pie doesn't look like much, I know, but this crust and this filling are absolutely heavenly.

Natalie's Perfect Pie Crust
(makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie)

4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold shortening
1/2 cup cold butter, chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar
6 tablespoons cold water
1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash

Whisk or sift together the flour and salt.  Then, add the cold shortening and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter until the mixture has the texture of sand.  Next, add the butter and cut it into the mixture until the butter pieces are about pea-sized.  Add the tablespoon of vinegar and work it into the dough, then add the water a couple of tablespoons at a time, cutting the dough between each addition.  Add the bare minimum of water for the dough to hold together.  (I used 6 tablespoons and my dough was a little crumbly, which made it pretty much impossible to flute the edges later.  If you want a really pretty pie crust, you will probably want to add another tablespoon of water.) Form the dough into two balls and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before rolling out.

Trish's Mom's Creamy Rhubarb Pie
Makes 1 9-inch double crust pie

Preheat oven to 375F

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar (for a sweeter pie, use 2 cups sugar)
2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soft butter
2 packages (1 lb. each) frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
4 cups fresh cut-up rhubarb may be used in place of frozen rhubarb 
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, flour, salt and soft butter. Mix until well blended.  Stir in rhubarb.  Pour into pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan.  Roll your remaining dough.  Cut into strips 1/2 inch wide; crisscross over filling to form lattice top.  Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing to seal.  Flute edge.  Put a cookie sheet under the pie to catch any leaks if it bubbles over, and bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Cool.

Tips from Trish/her mom:  Use a deep dish pie pan. Don't skimp on the rhubarb, it will bake down. If you use frozen rhubarb, put in some of the juice.

Note from Natalie: I used a pound and a half of rhubarb, which is a lot more than 4 cups by volume.  I ended up with a ton of extra liquid in the pie, but I loved the taste so it worked out fine.  Next time I think I'll throw in some tapioca to try and absorb some of that extra liquid, though.

Monday, June 4, 2012


On Friday, Cat posted avatars of her kitties created on the website Cartoonize My Pet. I thought the avatars were adorable, and immediately scampered off to the website to make my own.  

So, here are Scarlett and Melly: 

I had to do a little photoshopping to get their markings right (especially Scarlett's), but I think they're pretty cute!