A recent discovery: my cat, Tom, loves it when I whistle.

As soon as he hears the whistling start, he comes running to my side. If I’m sitting, he’ll jump in my lap and stare at me, adoringly. He’ll also bump his head against mine, delivering kitty kisses and cuddles. If I’m standing, he’ll swish around my ankles, back and forth, occasionally meowing, and follow me as I walk. Either way, his purrs are loud enough to hear across the room.

This behavior isn’t unique to me. He does it with anybody who whistles. He’s also the only one of our cats to act this way. Our others just stare at us for a moment and then get on with whatever cat business they were involved in before we tried to get their attention.

I’m not a very good whistler. Like my singing, I don’t always hit each note. It’s also hard not to laugh when Tom reacts, and whistling while laughing doesn’t work very well. But, he doesn’t seem to care.

It’s a nice thing, starting the morning with a cuppa and a cat. Happy Monday.

Animals Nature Pets


Yesterday evening, my husband reported a close encounter with a backyard bomber.

He and Mollie were out in the yard, doing yard things, when something hit him from above. He first thought it was a branch falling off a tree and didn’t pay much attention. But then, it happened again. This time, he noticed that it was a little piece of the tree, not a nut like an acorn or pecan, but a similar type of tree bloom.

Then, it happened again.

At that point, he looked up and saw…a squirrel.

Mr. Squirrel was sitting in the branches above him, throwing pieces of the tree at him.

My husband yelled at Mr. Squirrel. Mr. Squirrel smirked and chattered in his squirrel language (which, if you listen closely, sounds a lot like laughter). He then went on his way, up into the higher branches, most likely to tell his squirrel friends about his amusing backyard adventures.

My husband then looked over at Mollie, who was watching it all play out. She looked back at him.

If dogs could shrug, she would have. If dogs could talk, she would have said, “Dude. Every day. Why do you think I bark so much? I’ve been trying to warn you. Squirrels, man. Let’s go inside.”

Life Pets


Not long ago, I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I had many a-ha! moments while reading, but one of the most significant takeaways was this: being an introvert – being quiet – isn’t a flaw that needs to be fixed, that needs to be cured.

Thanks, in part, to Susan Cain’s book, I have learned to appreciate the fact that I’m an introvert. I’ve become comfortable with my preference for quietly observing, letting others have the floor, waiting until the right moment to speak. I’ve gained an appreciation of my talent for connecting words and actions and people, noticing little things that matter, recognizing possibilities and potential. I now recognize that choosing not to speak can sometimes be more powerful than voicing my opinion, that staying silent doesn’t automatically diminish my perspective or limit my potential.

In a world that tends to notice and reward extroverts, I’ve come to value my unique gifts as an introvert. I no longer find it necessary to apologize for being quiet.

I’ve also learned to be comfortable with the ways in which I like to manage and process my feelings – which brings me to today’s cuppa.

Sometimes, talking to my dog is a better option than talking to other people. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have good people in my life to talk to, that I don’t enjoy sharing conversations with my family and friends. It’s not representative of a flaw in my human relationships. It just means that, on occasion, I prefer the accepting, understanding, you’re the most perfect person ever in the whole world everything you say and do is perfect type of love that dogs are especially good at providing.

Mollie doesn’t require details or action items. She doesn’t care if I forget the punchline of a joke. She doesn’t need to tell her side of the story. She’ll stay engaged even if what I’m saying makes no sense or is contradictory to what I said yesterday. Most importantly, she doesn’t even care whether I actually do any talking. Sometimes, Mollie is a Quiet Girl’s best friend.

Since she doesn’t drink coffee, I can’t share today’s cuppa with her. I’ll give her a special doggie treat instead. And then we will sit on the couch, in the morning stillness, and talk – or not talk – together.

Family Food Pets


On Spaghetti Nights (like last night), we fix a small serving for Mollie.

Noodles, a tiny bit of sauce (garlic and onions aren’t good for dogs, so we are careful not to give her more than just a suggestion of flavor), and a lot of cheese.

We put it out for her, and she eats while we eat. It makes her quite happy.

Mollie loves spaghetti. She loves cheese. I think what she loves the most, however, is feeling like she’s part of the action, part of Spaghetti Night. When she’s done eating, she’ll make her way to the couch, where she’ll fall asleep with a doggy smile on her face.

Today’s cuppa is inspired by Mollie, who reminds me to be grateful for the simple happiness that can come from a plate of spaghetti.



My dog, Mollie, has a habit of sharing her food with me by hiding a nugget of it under my pillow. I usually don’t mind because it’s dry chow, not messy, and it’s a sweet gesture. If she’s around when I discover it, she crouches down and puts her head on her paws. Then she looks up at me with happy eyes, so pleased with herself, while I thank her for the sweet gesture. I joke that she’s bringing me breakfast in bed.

One of Mollie’s most favorite things ever is to spend time with my husband at the end of the day, out on the backyard porch, snuggling together on the futon. The day simply isn’t complete without at least one porch futon cuddle. She’s developed the habit of insisting that it’s time to go outside at the same time every evening, staring at him adoringly, her eyes pleading, her tail wagging, until he heads to the door.

Today’s cuppa celebrates the cheerful, uncomplicated, forgiving, unlimited love of dogs. May we always be worthy.

Fun People Pets


Will Ferrell is making another funny movie!

This one’s called Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and will be available on Netflix in June. Rachel McAdams will also star.

Will and Rachel play Icelandic musicians. Their song is Volcano Man, and it appears to be exactly the wacky, hilarious stuff you’d expect from Will Ferrell. Here’s a link with more details, including a video clip of the song:

To accompany this news, I got out the Viking cuppa. As you can see, my choice is Mollie-approved. She’s a Viking at heart, especially when she’s protecting us from the squirrels.



I woke up this morning to a heavy rainstorm.

Mollie (pictured on today’s cuppa) was snuggled next to me. She raised her head, looked at the window, put her head down, shifted closer to me, and went back to sleep. I laid there a bit longer, listening to the rain.

Not a bad way to start a Friday.

Good Pets


We have 3 cats.

Tom, Catcher of Lizards, belonged to somebody who didn’t want him, so we took him in. He now takes his job as alarm clock very seriously, never missing a day. He also takes great pride in his snuggling skills and purring talents.

Tiger was adopted from a litter of kittens. He’s the Ice Cream Sentinel. He’s a Giver, willing to sacrifice his own health for ours by eating our ice cream, saving our cholesterol counts. (Don’t worry, there’s no kitty saliva in our Rocky Road. He gets his own bowl. And yes, I know ice cream isn’t good for cats. But he’s almost 14 years old, so he gets to have a small scoop now and then.)

Bandit, Seeker of Boxes, was adopted from the local animal shelter. He’s the one peeking out from a box on today’s cuppa cup. He believes in the statement if it fits, I sits. His definition of “fits” is questionable, but he’s quite confident in his body image, no matter his choice of box.

If you love your cats as I do, feel free to share your pictures and stories here. You may also want to check out the Lanai Cat Sanctuary ( A little bit of Heaven on Earth.



This might be your mood today, either by choice or by circumstance.

If it’s by circumstance, this cuppa sends the best to you and your canine quarantine companion.

If it’s by choice, this cuppa promises not to judge. Everybody’s making things work as best they can.

And if this cuppa doesn’t apply to you, maybe you want to consider adopting or fostering a pup from the local shelter?

Have a good day, folks. Woof.



This cuppa salutes our new houseguest, the lizard that our cat brought in yesterday. Mr. Lizard escaped from Tom’s clutches and is now hanging around…somewhere…last known sighting was the living room.

I keep telling myself that it’s not a big deal to have a lizard in the house. He’s more scared of me than I am of him, plus he eats bugs, so that’s good. But then I think about the unpredictability of his appearances and the quiet ssk, ssk, ssk his feet make as he scuttles across the tile. Oh, and his tail. And his little, beady eyes. And, the fact that he can jump.

Will probably sleep with the blankets pulled up tight and maybe even over my head for a while. Just in case.