Monday, February 26, 2007


There are many poisonous / hazardous plants which may be dangerous for our four-legged feline friends ...

Always inspect the area in which your cat spends his/her time to be sure that none of these listed plants are accessable. Remember that both inside and outside must be "kitty-proofed" in order to have a safe, healthy cat.

hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
paperwhites & other winter forced bulbs see
(Philodendron spp.)

american coffee berry tree (Gymnocladus dioica ( L. ) Koch)
(Triglochin martima)
(Actea rubra )
black locust
(Robinia pseudoacacia)
bleeding heart
(Dicentra spp.)
bouncing bet
(Saponaria officinalis)
(Sanquinaria canadensis)
bracken or brake fern
(Pteridium aquilinum)
burning bush or fireweed
(Kochia scoparia L. Schrad.)
bull nettle or horse nettle
(Solanum carolinense)
(Ranunculus spp.)
(Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats. )
castor bean
(Ricinus communis )
cherries: black cherry, bitter cherry, choke cherry, pin cherry
(Ricinus communis (Prunus spp.)
clover: alsike clover, red clover, white clover
(Trifolium hybridum L. and other species)
(Xanthium spp.)
creeping charlie or ground ivy
(Glecoma hederacea L.)
curly dock
(Rumex crispus L.)
(Narcissus spp.)
(Daphne spp.)
devil's trumpet see
(Jimson weed)
(Delphinium spp.)
(Apocynum cannabinum)
dutchman's breeches
(Dicentra cullaria (L.) Brenh.)
(Sambucus canadensis)
english ivy
(Hedera helix L.)
(Claviceps spp.)
fern see
(Bracken fern)
fireweed see
(Burning bush)
(Digitalis purpurea)
ground ivy
(Glecoma hederacea L.)
hemlock - poison
(Conium maculatum L.)
hemlock - water
(Cicuta maculata L.)
horse chestnut, buckeyes
(Aesculus hippocastanum L.)
horse nettle see
(Bull nettle)
horsetails (Equisetum arvense L.)
(Hyacinth orientalis)
hydrangea see
(Hydrangea spp.)
(Iris spp.)
japanese yew
(Taxus japonicus)
(Arisaema spp.)
jimson weed
(Datura stramonium )
kentucky coffee tree see
(American coffee berry tree)
klamath see (St. Johnswort)
lamb's quarters
(Chenopodium album L.)
lantana, red sage, yellow sage
(Lantana camara)
larkspur see
lily of the valley
(Convallaria majalis)
lobelia, cardinal flower and indian tobacco
(Lobelia spp.)
locoweed and Milkvetch families
(Astragalus and Oxytropis spp.)
mad apple see
(Jimson weed)
(Podophyllum peltatum L.)
(Cannabis sativa)
(Asclepias syriaca L.)
monkshood, garden wolfbane, helmet flower, friar's cap, or soldier's cap
(Aconitum spp.)
mountain mahagony tree
(Cercocarpus montanus )
(all outdoor varieties have potential of being toxic)
nightshade, black nightshade, or deadly nightshade
(Solanum nigrum )
ohio buckeye or horse chestnut see
(Aesculus glabraWilld.)
(Nerium oleander L.)
pigweed see
poison ivy
(Toxicodendron radicans L. Kuntze)
poison oak
(Toxicodendron diversiloba)
poison sumac
(Toxicodendron vernix)
poke, pokeberry or pokeweed
(Phytolacca americana L.)
poppies: california poppy, iceland poppy, corn poppy, oriental poppy, and opium poppy
(Papaver spp.)
purple mint
(Perilla frutescens)
(Rhododendron spp.)
rhubarb - leaves are toxic
(Rheum rhaponticum)
rosary pea, jequirity bean, or precatory bean
(Abrus precatorius)
(Euphorbia spp.)
staggerweed see
(Dutchman's breeches)
star of bethlehem
(Ornithogalum umbellatum)
st. johnswort
(Hypericum perforatum L.)
stinging nettle
(Urtica spp.)
stink weed see
(Jimson weed)
stump tree see
(Kentucky coffee tree)
sudan grass
(Sorghum vulgare var. sudanense Hitchc.)
summer cypress see
(Fireweed or Burning bush)
squirrel corn see
(Dutchman Breeches)
sweet pea, tangier pea, everlasting pea, caley pea, and singletary pea
(Lathyrus spp.)
thorn apple see
(Jimson weed)
tobacco and tree tobacco
(Nicotiana glauca )
(Tulipa spp.)
wild onions
(Allium spp.)
wild snakeroot
(Eupatorium rugosum )
wolfsbane see
(Wisteria spp.)
yellow sage see
yews: english yew, japanese yew, western yew, ground hemlock, and florida yew
(Taxus cuspidata)

amaryllis (Amaryllis spp.)
mistletoe (Viscum album)
christmas rose
(Helleborus niger)
(Chrysanthemum spp.)
crown of thorns
(Euphorbia milii)
jerusalem cherry
(Solanum pseudocapsicum L.)
(Euphorbia spp.)

will not eat
pale tongue or gums
swollen tongue
abdominal pain

Check out your gardens ... do you have any of these ???

Take care,

Didyahaveagoodweekend ??

Another weekend is over, hope yours was a good one.

We went to a 50th birthday party on Saturday afternoon / night. It was a great party, caught up with some good friends, and had a nice time. It got mighty cold in the evening (that was really unusual!), and most of us weren't dressed for it (as it has been quite some time since it had been cool !!), but otherwise it was a wonderful night.

Sunday, Chicky and I went to the German Club for their Sommerfest. Had lunch ... traditional German stuff ... yummy !! Caught up with some family and friends, then headed home again. Hubby did an overtime shift Sunday night, so Chicky and I had pizza for tea ... yummy again !!

Overall, a great weekend, full of friends, family, food and fun !!

Change of subject ....

Has anyone noticed that Blogrolling and Bloglines don't seem to be updating as much as they should. Wonder if this has anything to do with the change-over to the New Blogger !! Is there something in our blog set-up that we should be changing, to ensure that our blogs show as being updated by these systems ?? I know there is a spot in the settings that mentiongs "pinging", and I have checked that it is on the correct setting (I hope). My Blogroll hasn't shown ANY updates for most of this year !! Is it just me, or is everyone having these problems ?!?! Just wondering !!!

Have a great week, catch ya all soon.

Take care,

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Aaawww, How Cute Is This ...

I found this article in today's newspaper, and just had to share. I have re-typed the text, as I don't think it will zoom in large or clear enough to read easily.

AUCKLAND - Extra the kitten is a little more sure-footed than her contemporaries.
She was born with one more toe than normal on each of her back paws, and two more than the standard on her front ones.
A grand total of 26 claws against the usual 20.
Her family noticed there was something not quite the same when they began suffering more scratches than they would have expected.
"You would sort of want to wear boxing gloves when you played with her," said her owner, Kaelene Garrard, of Auckland, New Zealand.
She examined the frisky feline's paws and did a double-take.
"We counted, then re-counted, but we had it right the first time," Miss Gerrard said.
Extra has seven toes on each front paw and six on each back paw - instead of the normal five on each.
"Her mother is a normal cat but her grandmother had six toes on each paw and so does her brother," Miss Gerard said.
"But we've never heard of a kitten with seven toes on each front paw.
"She's a good climber and runs really fast.
"We won't have to worry about her ... she'll be able to look after herself."
Extra toes are not that unusual in cats but sevens make Extra extra special.

Cute, don't you think ?!?!?! Don't think I'd like to be on the receiving end of those claws !!

Hope your weekend is going well.

Take care,

Friday, February 23, 2007

Have A Great Weekend ....

Well, another week is almost over. It continues to be hot and humid here in Melbourne (and most of Victoria, I think), and it is just getting ridiculous. Almost every day they forecast "possible" showers and thunderstorms, however here where I live, they just don't happen. The clouds might roll in, the air becomes even heavier, but no relief. Apparently (but who can believe the Weather Bureau these days !!) it is meant to be cooler, and mid 20sC over the weekend. I can't wait.

We are off to a 50th birthday party on Saturday, and perhaps a "Sommerfest" at the local German Club on Sunday. Should be nice. What do you have planned ???

Take care,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's Hot, Hot, Hot ...

Hello, fellow Bloggers !!

Hope your world is treating you well.

It is still stifling hot here in Melbourne, and there seems to be no end to it. I can't remember the last time I felt cool ... it is just getting ridiculous. Apparently, last week set a record, as it is the first time since records began (or something like that) that we had more than 5 days in a row of 38C or over. It was really, really, really hot !!! Today is around 30C, but very humid. For us Melbournians, it is like being in the Tropics. It is such unusual weather, as it is often hot here, but usually it is just dry heat.

I've gotta say, with the weird weather all around the world, I was somewhat concerned whilst watching "The Day After Tomorrow" on Friday night. Made me wonder whether we are really in for stuff like that !! Gosh, I hope not, but who knows what our future will be. I don't imagine anyone knows.

The wedding we went to on Saturday was lovely, but it was very unfortunate for the bridal party that it was just soooooo hot !! As I mentioned, the wedding was in a church in the city ... it was fairly pleasant in there, although still quite warm. The bride looked absolutely gorgeous, and the whole bridal party was a sight to see ... what a good looking bunch they were !! It was a reasonably quick service, and then we all went outside, back into the sunshine and heat, to do the congratulations and photos, and stuff !! Then we had about a 1 kilometre walk, up hill, to the reception venue ... the Old Melbourne Gaol !! (some people chose to catch a taxi, or take a tram, but we thought we'd walk ... why, I don't know !!) We had to weave through hundreds of people, as it was also Chinese New Year, and Russell Street (where the church and reception were on) was blocked for some of it's length, where it intersected with Chinatown !! Thank goodness I packed my rubber thongs, so I swapped my shoes for those, for the walk !!!

The Old Melbourne Gaol was reasonably comfortable, temperature-wise, when we went inside, but quickly heated up with 150 or so people inside. It is a very old building, so doesn't have air conditioning, although being all brick, concrete and cobblestones, it was actually cooler than outside

The above photo was taken from the second level of the gaol, looking down to the ground floor. You can see how narrow it is there, with all the cells going off the side walls. The level I took the photo from, and another above, were all similar, with lots of pokey little cells going off the passage. It was kind of creepy, with many of the cells having death masks on display, from hangings that occurred within the gaol many, many years ago. There were other displays in some of the cells, depicting former occupants !! The Old Melbourne Gaol, these days, is a museum. It is fascinating, and has lots of interesting things to see. Quite an unusual place for a wedding reception, though ... but it worked fine.

It was a wonderful wedding reception, the food was yummy, the band were brilliant, and the people we were with were a lot of fun. It was, for sure, a great night (except for the heat). Let me tell you ..... hot weather, and high-heels, just don't go together. By the end of the night, most women were barefoot and / or limping !!!

We didn't end up going to the 4WD show on Sunday, as we had planned, due to the high temperatures. We hibernated inside with the air-conditioning on as much as possible, only venturing outside to the car when we had to go out to pick up Chicky, who had a sleep-over at her cousins place. As I've said before, thank goodness for air-conditioning. But, I've had enough now ... it can cool down. I'd be happy to have to put on a jumper or jacket, or even the heating ... enough is enough !!!

Hope you are all able to stay warm, or cool, depending on which part of the world you are living in. Looking forward to stopping by for a visit to your blogs in the next couple of days.

Take care,


Poor Bambi was attacked by Evil Max over the road again yesterday. She was just coming out of her little nest in the bushes, outside our loungeroom window, in HER garden, when the rotten mongrel of a cat jumped her again. The poor little thing. I heard the noise, jumped up, opened the door, and looked out, and the poor little thing came racing inside, absolutely terrified. At least she knows she is safe in here !! At least she's got the sense to run away if she's able, rather than staying to fight (as our last cat, Ratbag, would have done ... he was a tough boy !!). At first she was limping, and favouring one of her front paws. I had visions of an abcess happening, but so far, so good. She is not licking, biting, gnawing at any particular site on her leg, as she would be if there was an abcess or sore, so she might have just sprained her ankle, or something. She seems OK ... fingers crossed.

On another topic, Bambi continues to do well with her dietary change. In fact, she is quite the little Miss Piggy !!! She no longer wakes me up in the middle of the night, only at around 5am-ish, when she wants brekky !! I can live with that ... a girl's gotta eat !!! I might introduce a small amount of dry food, as a treat once or twice a week, soon. I will try a Hills Science Diet brand, the Oral Care one, perhaps, so that her teeth can stay nice !! We'll see how that works ... I don't want her addicted to the dry stuff again, as that's what caused her problems in the first place ... she only wanted dry, nothing else. Hmmmm ....

Anyway, enough from me for this post.

Take care,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Have A Great Weekend ...

Just a quickie from me to say HI, and hope you are all well.

Been pretty busy these past few days, and will be for the next couple. Hope to be dropping by your blogs again early next week. Looking forward to reading what you have all been up to.

We are off to a wedding today (Saturday), in the city. The wedding itself is at a big church on the corner of Russell Street and Collins Street, and the reception is at the Old Melbourne Gaol. Should be interesting, to say the least. It is forecast to be around 38C today, and the outfit I have chosen is probably not appropriate for a hot summer's day, but it's what I'm wearing, nonetheless. I haven't gone out and bought anything new ... don't get the opportunity to wear "going out" clothes much, so usually make do with what I have. It is a nice outfit, I feel good in it, it is comfortable ... what more could I ask for !! I imagine it will be cool-ish in the Old Melbourne Gaol, being an old building with lots of rock and cobblestones ... here's hoping, anyway (I don't imagine it has any airconditioning !!).

Off to a 4WD show tomorrow. Again it is forecast to be 38C ... gosh, I hope some cooler weather comes soon ... I am so over the heat, and having to live in a closed house with the airconditioning on (I guess I should be greatful that we even have airconditioning!). I long for some cool breezes blowing through open doors and windows ... sigh !!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Take care,

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Well, friends, it's that time of year again, where we show our loved ones just how much we love them. I know my hubby and I said to each other this morning, in our most romantic voices (not !!) ... "Happy Valentine's Day" ... and then continued on with what we were doing !!!

We have never been really big on "celebrating" Valentine's Day ... we feel that we show each other, in many little ways each and every day, just how much we love each other (even after 24 years together, 18 of them married) ... we don't really need a special day for it. Although, that being said, it is fun to go out for a special meal, or to exchange cards or gifts on Valentine's Day.

So, whatever you do today, whether you are in a relationship, or are happily single, I hope you have a lovely day. Here's a little rose for you, to show you that I care ...

Have a great day, everyone.

Take care,

Your Candy Heart Says "First Kiss"

You're a true romantic who brings an innocent hope to each new relationship.
You see the good in every person you date, and you relish each step of falling in love.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a romantic dinner your sweetie cooks for you

Your flirting style: friendly and sweet

What turns you off: cynics who don't believe in romance

Why you're hot: you always keep the romance alive

CATS ON TUESDAY # 8 (oops, it's Wednesday!)

Hello, fellow Cat's On Tuesday bloggers ...

Huge apologies that my "Tuesday" post is coming to you on a Wednesday ... time's been getting away from me. Now, on with my post ...

For those of you who have asked, and may be wondering, Bambi is doing wonderfully. She has adjusted to her change of diet (that being, no more dry food for the time being) remarkably well. However, I have not !!

Let me explain ... as you may have read, Bambi was having "wee" problems, due to her being on an almost exclusively dry diet, and her not taking in enough fluid, thus her system was producing crystals, disrupting her "weeing", and causing her some discomfort. The vet suggested taking her off dry food, and only feeding her "wet" food (i.e. raw meat and canned food). So, this is what we have done. As I said, her "weeing" is now doing what it should. The only problem now, is that she needs to "go" during the early morning hours (whereas in the past, she was able to hold on until I got up in the day-light to let her out). This means, she is now back to using her litter tray during the dark hours. Whilst not a problem, really, it is a pain in the butt for me, as I have to clean out the darned thing again (hadn't had to do that for months, as she never used it !!). However, prior to actually using the tray, the little bugger annoys me for about 20 minutes (whilst I am trying to sleep), begging to go outside ... she can be so naughty, climbing on things, knocking things over, just being very irritating !! Eventually, she must realise that she ain't going outside, so she better "go" in her tray. Then she comes back into the bedroom, curls up and goes back to sleep !!

Another problem (though not really a "problem) is that during the night she often goes to the laundry (where her food is) and has a nibble. When there was dry food there, there was always something for her. Now, with only "wet" food, the little greedy-guts polishes off her dinner early in the night, so when she goes for a nibble, there is nothing left. Then she comes and bugs me for more (same irritating behaviour as when she wants to go outside !!). So now, I need to remember, to put another bowl of food out for her when I go to bed, just to ensure she has something left for during the night ... and I can continue sleeping !! I tell you, it is worse than having a new-born human child in the house ... at least they just lie in their cot and cry ... they don't become destructive, climbing on things, scratching and knocking over ornaments and such !!

Anyway, I am just glad that her little "problem" seems to have gone away ... hopefully for good.

Aside from her being an irritating little kitty during the night, I do really love my little Bambi, with all my heart. She is such a gorgeous little thing, with an enormous personality. I couldn't be without a cat in my life.

Enjoy the rest of your week, fellow cat-lovers.

Take care,

Friday, February 09, 2007

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
- Anonymous -

Thank you, everyone, for your kind and thoughtful comments regarding my last post ...

The kids are doing OK, after the traumatic events of last weekend ... thank goodness. I'm sure the image will remain in their heads for some time, though.

Bambi is doing fine ... back to her (annoyingly, lovable, cheeky) normal self ... another thank goodness !!

Regarding the bushfire situation I wrote about in a number of posts during December and January, it was reported in the newspapers in the past couple days that all the major fires are now either out, or contained. This must be a huge relief to the people living in the areas where the fires were (or still are burning). Many of the fires began in early December ... what a long time to be living in fear of those fires, and what a long time for the fire-fighters to be constantly "at it". Once again, I've got to say what an inspiration those fire-fighters are. They work so tirelessly, at great risk to their own safety. They all deserve to be congratulated on an amazing job.

Anyway, it is almost the weekend again ... it is Friday morning, 10.30ish. I have no big plans for my weekend. Do you ???

Have a good one, my friends.

Take care,


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

CATS ON TUESDAY # 7 ... plus more !!

Hello Everyone,

It's been an interesting few days in the world of Meow. Some parts of it I would rather not have had happen ...

On Saturday afternoon, Chicky was down the other end of our street (which is a double ended court / cul-de-sac) playing with a couple of friends who live down that end. They were playing with their cat, who is the same age as our Bambi. They were having lots of fun, as kids and cats always do !! All of a sudden, one of the residents of the street (a young girl, on P plates) started her car, and began speeding out of the street. The cat freaked out at the sound of the car, jumped out of Chicky's friend's arms, and ran across the road, right under the car. The girl driving didn't even stop. The kids were horrified, and somewhat hysterical, to have witnessed their friend, Jack the cat, being run over. Initially, the cat picked himself up and ran home (as seems to be the way with cats and dogs), but passed away quite quickly thereafter. Chicky's friend's parents barely had time to wrap up the cat, put him in the car to take to the Animal Emergency Hospital, before he stopped breathing. Those poor children, Chicky included, were absolutely inconsolable. What a horrible thing for them to see. None of them were able to sleep much that night ... I'm sure the scene was replaying itself over and over in their minds. I imagine it will be the source of nightmares for some time. I have to admit to shedding quite a few tears, myself. You know, as hard and horrible it was that the cat was killed, all I could think about was ... what if had've been a child on the road, and this girl (or any other person) was racing down the street in their car. The residents all know that there are heaps of animals and children in the street. They should know better ... they should drive SLOWLY at all times. I hope this has taught the girl driving the car a lesson ... a very hard one, yes, but a lesson none-the-less.

The past day or two, my kitty Bambi has been struggling with her wee-ing again (she had this problem mid-December last year). Back in December, the vet suggested she may have a problem with crystals forming in her urine, but at the time, we decided it may just be a one-off urinary infection, and would wait and see. It did go away, and all was fine again. Well, it has happened again. Poor kitty, it isn't nice when you need to go all the time, and you sit, and sit, and nothing happens. I took her to the vet this morning, and the vet (a different one, this time) told me about an interesting study she has read the report of. Apparently, cats that eat almost exclusively dry food, have a water intake of at least 50% less than those on a "wet" food diet. Even thought they may appear to drink an adequate amount of water, it still may not be enough. In some cats (although not all), this can lead to crystals forming in their urine (as has happened with Bambi), causing the problems she has been experiencing, and worse. The solution used to be to put them on a Prescription Diet dry food (Hills have a good one) to assist with reducing this problem. But, no more. The solution now, apparently, is to take them off dry food completely. So, this is what we are now trying. I don't think Bambi will be too impressed, as she is almost addicted to her dry food, and isn't a great fan of tinned or fresh food. We will have to perservere, though. Hopefully this will do the trick. Maybe down the track, when I am confident this won't happen again, I can give her a treat once or twice a week, of dry food (it is good for their teeth), and see how she goes. The vet also gave her an anti-inflammatory injection, to ease the problem, and hopefully by tonight she should be right as rain again. Poor little kitty.

OK, onto other (non-cat) related things.

We had a pretty quiet weekend. Hubby watched alot of TV (a change from working all weekend ... it appears there is not alot of overtime on offer at the moment at his work), and did a few little Mr. Fixit type jobs around the house and garden. I spent most of the weekend (and yesterday) at the computer, fiddling around with my photos from our trip to Broken Hill last year. I am using a program called Magix Photostory for CD & DVD, to turn these photos into DVDs, by adding transitions, zooms, commentary, music ... whatever. It is great fun, if somewhat fiddly and time consuming (I'm a bit of a perfectionist at times ... if it isn't quite right, I will fix it, over and over and over !!!). It's looking great, so far ... not much more to do !!

So, how was your weekend, what did you get up to ??

I'm on my way to come and visit you all now ... look out for me, won't you !!

Enjoy the remainder of your week.

Take care,


Friday, February 02, 2007

How To Wash A Cat

Now, you all now I am a mega cat lover .... I found this video on You Tube and just had to share. It is very funny (and very, very true !!!). (You might need to turn off my What's New Pussycat song in the background first, so you can hear the commentary ... just press the stop button on the control in the side panel.)


Have a great weekend.

Take care,


Thursday, February 01, 2007


Hello everyone !!

Hope you have had a nice couple of days, and the weather hasn't been too warm / cold (wherever you may be !). It has been quite mild here, which is nice, although we are looking at some really hot weather over the next few days. I guess the air-conditioner will be getting another work-out !!

Chicky started high school yesterday, and it went wonderfully. She was very excited in the morning, and was ready to go well before time. I drove her in, as I will continue to do (then at least I know she got there safely !!). She came home by bus, and arrived in our front door much earlier than I expected. Good, that made me happy !! She was full of chatter, telling me about her day ... her locker, her combination padlock, her classes, her friends, her teachers ... she had a great day from all accounts. It was, however, only the first day, and it was kind of still the orientation process. Only the year 7s and the year 12s were at school, with everyone else going in today. That will be the test, I guess ... a school FULL of kids. She thought there was a lot of them yesterday ... she's in for a shock, I imagine !! Reading her timetable was a challenge ... it was all in code !!! What do all those letters and numbers mean ??? I suppose it's not really my problem ... it's hers ... but I like to know what she's up to, too !! So, anyway, she had a great day, and I am one relieved Mum ... here's hoping for a continuation of the enjoyment for her !!

I am off to work at the boarding cattery for a few hours today and tomorrow. I will be doing the bookwork, and any admin type stuff. I hope it will become a regular thing, as I enjoy working there ... being able to cuddle all those kitty-cats, that are boarding there, is always nice !! There is such a huge variety of kitties ... from your basic moggies (which I have a particular soft spot for), to your hugely expensive fancy pedigrees. I love them all !!

Can you believe it is aleady February 1st ?!?!? This year is flying by ... before we know it, we will be putting up the Christmas tree again !!!!

Gotta go .... I hope you all have a fantastic day.

Catch ya !!