Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Word About Bookish Collections (or lack there of) & Beyond the Books: My Darling Cats


Every Thursday  Karen of KissinBlueKaren  hosts Beyond the Books, at which time participants are given a topic and asked to write about it on their own blogs. They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.




Every now and then I get the urge to try a new-to-me meme. I first discovered the Beyond the Books meme on Katherine's I Wish I Lived In a Library blog and decided today would be a good day to jump in and participate. Today Karen's Beyond the Books topic is to talk about our pets. Anyone who knows me knows I love to talk about my furkids.

 Parker, 14 years old


My beautiful and loving Parker was my very first cat. He was a stray kitten of about 8 months old when he came into my life, having lived in the parking lot of the courthouse where I was working at the time. He fit into our little family quite well, taking to our dog, Riley, and my husband and me as if he had always lived with us. We've been through a lot together. Many changes, including a big move, a baby in the house, and the losses of two of his best friends (Riley and Anya). among other things. He's always so calm and patient: with me and my tendency to maul him with kisses and hugs as if he was a dog, with my husband, and with my daughter as she's grown from baby to preschooler.  

Parker and Mouse

Parker is approximately 14 years old. It's hard to know for sure given we don't know his exact birthdate. As soon as I sit down or lay down, Parker is right there, wanting to climb up on me and settle in. He has the sweetest purr. He is my alarm clock in the morning, including when it's not needed. Pluck, pluck, pluck. He uses one of his nails to pluck at my blanket or night shirt to wake me. He'll persist no matter how many times I roll over and try to go back to sleep. He knows when it's time for breakfast--and he makes sure I know it too. Parker has had some health issues in recent years, giving us quite the scare a couple times. Parker is the reason for the title of my blog and my nickname, Literary Feline. Parker turned me, a lifetime dog lover, into a cat person too.

 Gracie, 2 years old


If you have ever suffered the loss of a beloved fur friend, you know the hole it can leave in not only your heart, but in your life as well.  Two years ago, I had to say goodbye to my sweet dog, Riley, and my precious five year old cat, Anya. They died within two months of each other. It was devastating to not only me, my husband and my daughter, but to Parker as well. I was not sure any of us were ready to take in another animal, at least not for awhile. I knew though that if we did, it would likely be another cat. As much as I love dogs and would love to have another one in my life, careful consideration made me acknowledge that our lifestyles were not the best suited for raising a dog right now.

As Parker sunk into depression and his health declined, his veterinarian mentioned she had a kitten who needed a home. Gracie was the last of her litter who had been abandoned outside the cat hospital waiting for a home. I was told she was the biggest and not the cutest of the bunch, resulting in her being passed over for her siblings.  It felt too soon yet, but after talking to my husband, she came home with us for a trial visit. My husband and I knew almost immediately though there was no "trial" about her visit. She'd found her forever home.

Gracie was just what our family needed. She was what I needed to help heal my broken heart. She will never replace Riley or Anya, but she has made her own place in our lives. She is playful and bold (a quality that comes in handy when living with a young child), and extremely affectionate. She loves to hang out with me when I blow dry my hair in the mornings, hoping I'll turn the dryer on her, and she enjoys cuddling on my chest. Parker has taken to her as well--and she to him.  Although, I am sure Parker sometimes wishes Gracie wasn't quite so enthusiastic in her play and she probably wishes he would play with her more.

Gracie and Mouse 

Both Parker and Gracie are often at the door as soon as Mouse and I arrive home at the end of the day. They take turns receiving cuddles and loves. Many evenings all five of us can be found in the same room, enjoying each other's company. Parker and Gracie are a big part of our family, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

(And would you believe I am allergic to cats? It's true! Fortunately, my allergy isn't terribly bad like it is for some. I take allergy medicine every day. It usually takes me a few weeks for my immune system to get used to a new cat in our home, but if I walk into someone else's house and they have cats, I'm a sniveling, burning-eyed mess until I leave.)

Parker and Gracie

Do you have any pets? Please tell me about them!

Book Blogger Hop


Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.


Do you collect things that are book related? Like bookmarks, nameplates, 1st editions. (submitted by  Bunnita @ Worth Reading It?)
Some would say I collect books given how many I have on the shelves in my house. Not to mention the piles that sometimes sprout up out of nowhere. Well, maybe not exactly out of nowhere. I imagine many of you can relate. I have never been particularly drawn to collect 1st editions or autographed copies (although I do like to go to book signings now and then). I grew up surrounded by books as my dad and mom had shelves of them. I inherited their love of books. I saved several favorites from my childhood which now line my daughter's shelves.

I have a nice sized bookmark collection, which right not is tucked away in a drawer of my desk. I do not actively collect bookmarks anymore, but for many years I did. I still find myself pausing to admire bookmarks when I find them while out and about.

Some of my favorite bookmarks 
(the We Love Books one was made for me by a friend. 
My name is on the back.)

I do enjoy looking for book and reading related items, but nothing that would qualify as a collection. I have a couple pieces of jewelry which have literary characters or quotes on them. And I am always on the look out for figurines of cats and books combined. I have one of a cat reading a book that sits on a little shelf at my desk at work. 

What about you? Do you have any book related collections?


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

36 comments:

  1. I'm pretty much the same as you - tons of books and a drawer full of bookmarks but I don't "actively" collect either one. I used to collect autographed books but, lately, I've been letting go of them unless they're extra special to me.

    We had to have our dog euthanized a few years ago and haven't replaced her since we're not home much.

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    1. Kathy - I've been letting go of some of my autographed books too, specifically the ones that aren't personalized that I know I will not be reading again.

      We're not home much either, which is the big reason we haven't adopted another dog. It would be really unfair, I think. I feel bad enough sometimes for the cats . . .

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  2. I enjoyed your posts - reading about your beloved pets. About five years after our first dog, Sheba (Shepard/Lab mix) died, we got a small Boston Terrier, Edee - sounds like Edie). I am home almost all of the time and we are very attached to one another.

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    1. Pat - Thank you! :-) I'm sorry about Sheba. Edee sounds like a wonderful companion. I miss having a dog around the house. I am sure the right moment--or dog--will present itself when it's time again.

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  3. I love this post! Sent me off to find my fur babies for an extra cuddle. I don't know what those people were talking about, Gracie is just beautiful. Oh well, their loss is your gain :)

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    1. Nicole - Aw, thanks! Gracie thanks you too. :-) I agree, she's beautiful--and such a lover. I cannot imagine any of the her litter mates being as wonderful as she is.

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  4. Great post! I wasn't able to participate this week because of a blog tour and I'll be out next week too but I'm looking forward to getting back to this meme the week after. It's such fun! Gracie is beautiful and Parker sounds like a total sweetie! We have a dog and 2 cats and as much as I love my dog I just don't have the time for her that she needs. I don't collect anything bookish right now but I love the idea of it! Your cat reading figurine sounds like lots of fun.

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    1. Katherine - Thank you. :-) Dogs require a lot of work. Whenever a friend who doesn't have a dog is considering getting one, I try to be as upfront as possible about what having a dog will entail. I love dogs and really want to adopt another one some day. I felt the same way you do about your dog in regards to my Riley. I often felt like I wasn't able to give him the attention and time he deserved. They love us anyway. :-)

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  5. What gorgeous cats, My dog loves the hair dryer too, as soon as she hears it on she comes through like a shot waiting for her turn!

    Heather | Random Redheaded Ramblings

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    1. Heather - Thank you! I can just picture your Fern wanting you to blow dry her. :-)

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  6. I love your cats and Parker's coloring is so pretty! I am not a cat person but who knows maybe it's because I never had them or was around them!

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    1. Grace - Thank you! I never thought I was a cat person until I took in Parker. He was so gentle with me. LOL I used to be afraid of cats. And they can be much more affectionate than I imagined.

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  7. Awe! Parker and Gracie are so adorable! I am sorry to hear about your Riley, but how great for Gracie to find her forever home with you.
    As for bookish collections, I don't have any. I don't even own many bookmarks. In the past few years my collection of books has outgrown my shelves. My biggest (and ugliest) bookshelf just broke today. Can you believe that? I guess that bowing shelf was really trying to tell me something. I hope to get new shelves soon.

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    1. Karen - Thank you. I do miss having a dog in the house. Gracie often reminds me of both Riley and my former cat Anya in the little things she does. She came into our lives at just the right time. I figure that will happen when it's time for us to take in another dog.

      Oh no! I'm sorry about your bookshelf. Some of my shelves are bowing too from the weight of the books. I hope you get exactly the shelves you want!

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  8. What a fun post! I used to collect bookmarks and also paperback series, but after one too many moves I've donated all my books and now have just been picking up some from the used bookstore, which will take them back for store credit... so I don't have a lot of print books anymore.

    I have always had at least one dog and one cat growing up, and in my own family now we have a small pack of furkids since we used to do pet rescue. We stopped years ago but we still have a couple of dogs and several cats who are aging right along with us :) One cat is 20 years old and my youngest child is 25, so you can see how attached they are to each other-- they grew up together.

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    1. Rita - Series books . . . Yes, I have quite a few of those too. I went crazy on e-bay several years back, and would buy entire series at once, even without having first tried one book to see if I would like it. I'm more careful now. :-) Like you, with our last move, I ended up donating many of my books--although I still brought a lot with me too. I'm determined not to have more books in the house than I have shelf space for.

      You did rescue! That is really commendable, Rita. I am hoping Gracie and my daughter will have that kind of bond as they grow together--the same kind your daughter and 20 year old cat.

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  9. I adored your touching pet story Wendy. Our 3 cats are very much a part of our every routine. We have one who meows as loud as possible around 5-5:30 every morning for us to feel them, even if we've left food out before we went to bed....she's worth getting out of bed for though.

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    1. Diane - Thank you. I can't imagine not having animals in my life. Both my cats can be quite vocal when they want food or attention. :-) Parker is the same way as your cat who wakes up up even when she has food already. Parker does that to me too.

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  10. How nice! And the pic of Parker and Mouse sleeping is too sweet.
    Interesting that Parker inspired your blog name.

    I can completely relate on losing a beloved pet. Gracie sounds like she has surely helped you all to heal. Our pets become part of the family, it really is incredible, the bonds we can form with them. After Diego passed, I thought I could never have another dog. Then when we made the choice to bring Otis home, he really helped to ease the pain.

    Nice bookmarks. I just bought one at Barnes n Nobles last week that I'll be posting on my next Mailbox Mondays post with my book haul. I can't resist memes myself :)
    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Naida - Unfortunately Mouse often moves around too much for the cats to want to lay or sit on her, but when she's sleeping it's the perfect opportunity.

      It is incredible the connection we make with our animals, I agree. Otis is such a cutie. I can tell from your blog how much you love him. :-) I'm sorry though about Diego. They really do leave a big hole behind when they have to leave us.

      I can't wait to see your new bookmark. :-)

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  11. I love your pictures. Parker and Gracie are beautiful. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm still new at being a pet owner and I can't imagine losing my dog now. But it's good you found Gracie and she helped to heal your family.

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    1. Kathy - Thanks! Hopefully your dog will have a long life with you. :-) They really do have a way of winning a big place in your heart.

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  12. This is a great post, Wendy! I enjoyed reading it and it's especially heartwarming to read about your furkids and how they're part of your family. I've never had a pet dog or cat in my life, though I did have hamsters, little tortoises and even chicks when I was a child. My heart broke after they passed, and I told myself I wouldn't want to have a pet thereafter; the loss is the most difficult to deal with. That said, they're a joy to be with.

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    1. Melody - Thank you! I've always wanted a little tortoise. :-) I had hamsters as a child. Starla and Muffin. Starla was my favorite. My brother had one too, Mr. Furry. He was always escaping and we'd find him hiding in a closet.

      Losing a pet is devastating, so I completely understand you not wanting to have to go through that again.

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  13. Two great memes. I've really enjoyed reading about your fur kids. Alas we no longer have any fur babies but I remember all of them with such love.

    Also a collector of bookmarks. I also seem to have a box full of book plates simply waiting to be stuck in my books.

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    1. Tracy - Furkids bring such joy to our lives, don't they? :-)

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  14. :) Ahh, cats. The Triad continues to keep things interesting at our house. Thank goodness for the Roomba that keeps cat hair under control! I used to collect bookmarks, but the truth is that I use whatever is at hand (a receipt, a slip of paper, an ad that came in the mail). Right now, I'm looking at a beautiful bookmark purchased in Oxford, MS with pics of Square Books and -Off-Square Books that is on my desk.

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    1. Jenclair - Cat hair is a constant battle around here. So are juice stains. I'm the same as you--I use whatever is handy when marking my place in a book, and it's often not a bookmark. Your Square Books and -Off-Square Books bookmark sounds beautiful!

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  15. Cats are a mysterious folk, I like that phrase from one of your book marks. I am writing a poem about my cat/cats and they are indeed secretive.

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    1. Terra - Yes, they are! I often wonder what they are thinking and why they do certain things they do. :-)

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  16. This is such a beautiful story, especially with you being allergic, kudos ! I've lost pets too so I feel your pain. It's funny you have an angora too - but mine, Loullig (that means "little ball of fur") would be afraid of the hair dryer ;) Triskell, our other cat, doesn't care a bit as long as there's food and cuddling !

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    1. Reader Junkie - Thank you! Having go say goodbye to a pet is so difficult. :-( It's so funny the way Gracie comes running as soon as I turn on my blow dryer. :-)

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  17. Losing a pet is so heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing this post with us. I've never owned a cat and am very much a dog person but I know they can be just as loving and part of a family as dogs can be.

    Love your bookmarks! I have a Shh! I'm trying to read bookmark too and that's my favorite of the lot.

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    1. Athira - I thought I was very much a dog person for the longest time. I couldn't imagine ever having a cat. ;-)

      I love that bookmark too. There was a time when I ate lunch in the breakroom at work when I would try to make sure it was visible to all who wanted to interrupt my reading time. No one ever took the hint. :-(

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  18. I too am an allergic cat lover! I always know I'm going to pay for it, but I just can't resist kitty snuggles. So glad Gracie helped Parker bounce back!

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    1. Shaina - I can't resist kitty snuggles either. :-) Ever since we put the collar on Parker, Gracie's afraid of him. I feel so bad for Parker.

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