Cats and Cocktails

Where can you go to see a Christmas tree decorated with cats and cocktails? What do cat ladies do in preparation for the Christmas holiday, and how do these questions tie together?

Volunteers and staff members of The Blue Bell Foundation for Cats (“Blue Bell”) have been working hard on creating ornaments for our Christmas tree at Sawdust Festival’s Winter Fantasy, which opened on Friday.  Our handcrafted ornaments are all things feline, mais oui, but we put festive New Orleans spin on these cute kitty tree decorations.

Come see Blue Bell’s lavishly decorated Christmas tree themed “Meowi Gras” at the Winter Fantasy, which runs every weekend through December 17th at the Sawdust Festival grounds in Laguna Beach. The Winter Fantasy is Sawdust Festival transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with Santa’s house in the “town square” and Christmas trees strewn throughout the grounds, each representing a Laguna Beach based nonprofit organization.

Jenna, Terri, Leesa and yours truly, transformed basic kitty ornaments into feline Mardi Gras party goes, including ornaments showcasing our very own Blue Bell residents, each embellished with crowns and cocktails.

We decorated our tree on Wednesday, navigating through rain then wrapping it with tarp to protect it until opening day on Friday.

Last night was the tree lighting ceremony during which awards for tree décor were granted. Blue Bell is honored and thrilled to have won the Most Creative tree award. What better way for a cat lady to kick-off the holiday season? I’m grateful to be a part of Blue Bell for the past ten years. And I’m grateful for the down-home sense of community and joy that Winter Fantasy evokes.

A big thank you to all who read and support my blog and to all who’ve purchased Two Cats, a Mermaid and the Disappearing Moon. It means the world to me!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Ghost Cats and the Phantom Mouse

In the summer of 2018, when I met my realtor at the circa 1922 cottage I was considering for my next home, despite its run-down condition, I was struck by its enchanted quality. It was alive with positive vibes. I felt welcomed by an unseen greeting committee. I signed the lease, excited about a new beginning living in a vintage cottage.

Enchanted Cottage shortly after moving in.

After moving in with Bobcat and Lexington, often, while sitting on the sofa at night reading, I would look over my shoulder thinking I saw one of the cats sauntering by; yet, seconds later would glance into the bedroom to see both cats sound asleep.

One late afternoon I was sitting at my desk and saw movement from my peripheral vision coming from the bookcase next to the French doors. I turned to see a mouse scurrying from the bookcase to underneath the hutch. It was quick and almost looked like a shadow, but well defined. I thought I imagined it when Bobcat came bolting from the bedroom making a beeline for the hutch. He was trying to get under it, going from one side to the next, fervently meowing. I opened the front door in an attempt to get the mouse out of the house. As I tried to coax my enthusiastic cat away from the hutch so the mouse could run outside—Bobcat came out from the side of the hutch and nonchalantly sashayed back into the bedroom. And the mouse was nowhere to be found.

Bobcat sees a ghost mouse!

About a year ago I was awoken at 2:00 a.m. by the sound of labored breathing coming from the living room. I turned on the bedside table lamp, cautiously got up and went into the direction of the sound with Samantha by my side. The sound shifted from the entryway to the sofa. Samantha poked her head under the sofa as if trying to figure out where it was coming from. I walked around the sofa then went back to the entryway with Samantha shadowing me.  I concluded that the sound was a suffering animal under the house. I said a prayer for it then went back to bed. I awoke again, thinking it was morning because light was filtering from the living room into my bedroom, yet it was 4:00 a.m. Perplexed, I went into the living room to find a set of lights had been turned on—lights that I never use because they are too bright. I got goose bumps and wondered if the noise we heard was actually something otherworldly.

Mama, what is that creepy noise?

Later that morning, I looked under the house to find no animal. Even if it had gotten out alive, the crawl space where it would have been was not in the same location of the sound, which emanated from the location of the foundation. I started to believe that the enchanted cottage was a refuge for lost souls.

Lately, the cottage has been devoid of phantom mice and ghostly cats. And I’ve not awoken to spooky sounds and lights with a mind of their own.

Maybe the spirits of Bobcat and Lexington are keeping the spooks away.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Mama, you aren’t seriously going to wear this hat?

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Cat Lady in the Canyon-The Backstory

Cats have been pets in my life since I was a toddler. But it was after rescuing my first cat at the age of 26 that I truly made cats an integral part of my world. Over a short period of time, having one cat turned into having two or three at any given time. (read more in About the Cat Lady). I never once considered myself crazy, yet others did. I got so tired of the disapproving comments and justifying my affinity for felines:

  • You don’t have kids—only cats? Yep, just cats.
  • You know what they say about having two cats… Do tell!
  • You have three cats!? So you’re a crazy cat lady, huh? No, I just love cats.
  • Have you ever thought about getting a dog? I don’t understand the question.

I put my paw down. It was time to dispel those archaic beliefs and misperceptions about ladies who love cats. After all, cats have been domestic companions for humans for at least 10,000 years. History documents that ancient Egyptian and Roman societies highly revered these animals. Yet, in today’s world, even despite the recent cat craze (thank  you social media), a woman living with cat companions (especially a single woman) is still considered to be a “Crazy Cat Lady”. I bet the ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet would disagree.

During the time I was getting fed up with the crazy cat lady comments, I lived in Laguna Canyon with three cats and I was writing for a local magazine and blogging for an e-commerce website.




These platforms sparked an idea and Cat Lady in the Canyon–Crazy Cat Lady Redefined was created. I merged my passion for cats and writing together into mini memoirs shared through blog entries, which showcase these amazing creatures as not only lovable companions, but as guides and healers.

Cat Lady Gets Cancer. I experienced a whole new level of devotion for my cats and from my cats when I was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer in 2020. From diagnosis to treatments, to victories leading to post-cancer healing, my cat companions were critical members of my support team throughout every step of the journey. Blog entries chronicling my cancer journey can be found in the 2020 through 2022 archives. Writing about coping with cancer was cathartic, but my intention with these stories was to inspire and support anyone dealing with cancer, either themselves or a loved one.

What people may actually see in a crazy cat lady is a passionate, enthusiastic and devoted cat lover—someone the ancient Egyptians would hold in the highest regard.

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