Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The Punky Boy soon after he joined our family.

Finally, we have our sweet orange tabby boy, Pumpkin. Pumpkin, who I am sure is the brother to Lovie, is the easiest-going, most loving cat I've had in quite a while.

Pumpkin has a close bond with his sister, Lovie.

Or does he have me? Such is the relationship with a feline.

Pumpkin knows that if he waits long enough, his humans will turn on the faucet for him.

Pumpkin is exquisitely smart just like his sister, and has become a most handsome fellow to boot. The good news is both Lovie and Pumpkin have grown into their once-outsized ears. He can open doors by himself to let himself (and partners in crime) outside.

Pumpkin opens the door so that he, Hamlet, and Lovie can join Romeo on the back porch.

He never misses a meal, or a treat, or a chance to be brushed. He is sweet and kind to all the other animals and I have never seen him get rough with any of his friends.
Pumpkin with his friend, Juliet.

Always gentle, our Plumpkin (no, that's not a typo; he's round like a pumpkin) is a charming little man. Also known as Pumpkin Pie, Punkin, Punky Boy, Angel Boy, and PumpkinMeister, he adores attention.
Pumpkin enjoys playing in mommy's sunflower display.

If you so much just look at him, he will begin purring and reach his paw out to touch you on the arm, just to let you know he loves you.

Lazy day!

Pumpkin loves to go outside to watch the birds and dragonflies fly around. He doesn't bother them too much, as he is a lover, not a fighter.

Pumpkin loves his sister, Lovie.

Once in a great while, though, he will bring mommy a "present", so proud of himself presenting his quarry. I could almost swear he smiles as he knows he makes his humans happy, offerings or no offerings. He asks for nothing in return except a nice brushing or a scratch behind the ears. Even an occasional treat is not taken for granted by Pumpkin.

Waiting patiently for Santa.

After all, he does have a figure to maintain!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Resting after a game of fetch.

So now we come to one of the great loves of my life, my Lovie.

My Love in her favorite place, atop mommy's library chair.

I say "my" Lovie because I am lucky enough to have been chosen as her human. She won't relate to anyone else in the household, although dad was the first one to hear her cries. When she was underneath dad's abandoned trailer, he heard a small meow. He couldn't find anything, but suspected we had a cat there and told me about it so I went to investigate. I neither saw nor heard nothing at the time, so forgot the matter. A couple days later, he said he heard a cat again, so I went outside and heard it too. I sat there patiently, "talking" to the kitty I heard but had not yet seen. Then, slowly, a small kitten emerged, but would not get close to me. I didn't think it would be so tiny, as we usually get full-grown cats dumped at our place. So, I do the natural thing any mommy would do: offer food. The poor thing was starved but resisted me trying to pick her up. I stayed there most of the day trying to get her to come out, and she did, eventually, and that was the last day she spent outside as an orphan. By that night, she was sleeeping with me on the couch.

My Loviebug poses for mommy.

She was at first so tiny I was afraid of rolling over on her and squashing the poor thing. Little did we know she was just one member of at least two litters at our place. She was found first simply because she was the loudest and the boldest. The rest, as they say, is history.

Lovie, always inquisitive.

My Lovie is now a VERY big, beautiful, active, affectionate, and so very smart grey tabby. She will catch and fetch toys for me, and she loves playtime.

Waiting patiently for mommy to come play.

She will call me for an "encore" if I leave too soon before she is finished playing. She loves to climb ladders and claim the top, and she loves nuzzling mommy's stinky feet.

Lovie, queen of the mountain, showing Pumpkin and Romeo who's boss.

She has grown especially attached to my adult cat, C.C., as C.C. is probably the only mommy she really knows.
Loviedove and her best friend, C.C.

Lovie will follow C.C. and me anywhere we go, and she adores her catnip treats.
Lovie with a favorite mousie toy.

My Lovie, who I also call Loviebug, Loviedove, Love, Beautiful Girl, and Sweetie probably did more to rescue me than I did to rescue her. She has livened up our household with her smart, playful antics and her nearly 20-pound lovely frame. She and brother Pumpkin, to be spotlighted next, are roughly the same size, and are markedly intelligent felines.

My Love's first Christmas. She loves climbing the Christmas tree!

They sure know how to wrap a human around their fuzzy little paws. She and I have bonded in a most amazing way. I fall in love with this beauty more every day! Now excuse me while I go cater to my Love. She demands my attention!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Hamlet, he of the super-long legs.

Have you ever seen a cat that is half-feline, half-jackrabbit, and all acrobat?

You have now. Meet Hamlet, the biggest surprise to us from the original "gang" of kittens who found us a couple of years ago and decided, much to our fortune, to keep us.

Slim Jim in his favorite chair, taking it easy.

Hamlet was a wild one, hanging out in the garage with Romeo and Juliet, but refusing to be touched by humans. He would acknowledge your presence, and even walk up to you as if he wanted to touch you, but then he always backed off, and no amount of cajoling could get him to come forward for a petting.

Hammie with his best friend, Romeo.

We had to enact a devious plan to get him into a carrier for his neuter and shots, then when we got him home, he stayed in our game room to recover. Much to our surprise, he laid on the couch in that room and let us get close to feed him. Then, to our amazement, he let us pet him. It's as if he knew he was finally home and had humans that cared about him. I was certain that we had brought home the wrong cat, but, no, I could tell it was definitely our Hammie. Within a couple days, he had explored the house, declared it his territory, and was laying on the couch in the living room with us, flipping over to expose his belly for a rub.
Waiting patiently for his daily belly rub.

He would let us pet him, rub his tummy, pick him up and carry him. Who knew? We surely could never have guessed that this gentle, scared little soul would transform into a loving, playful cat who enjoys being around his people. He did a complete 180 in the span of a few days. Once he decided to trust us, he trusted us with his whole heart and knew we would take care of him.

Sweet Hamlet, posing for mommy.

Now Hamlet, otherwise known as The Hamminator, Hambone, Hamhock, Slim Jim, Daddy Longlegs, Senor Hamburger, and Hammie, rules his world here. He has grown into an extra L-O-N-G, lean little man that is all muscle and curiosity. He can jump flat-footed from the floor to the top of my 8-foot tall bookshelves in the wink of an eye. He can turn flips mid-air in the pursuit of dragonflies and junebugs, getting enough power from those super-long jackrabbit legs of his to catch whatever he has his eye on. He can contort his slim body in myriad ways, with one half facing one direction and the other half going the other way. I don't know how he does it, other than believing that in one of his previous nine lives, he must have belonged to a circus, performing as an acrobat, contortionist, and clown.

Resting between adventures.

Then, in the next moment, he can come up to you for some petting, turn over onto his back for his daily belly rub (his favorite thing in the world) and go fast to sleep in your arms, still on his back.

Who would have ever guessed? Not in a million years would we have thought Hamlet would have been such a character, acrobat, sweetie, funny cat.

Daddy Long Legs, claiming the couch as his.

As I type right now, he is sitting in my lap, motor going full-blast, looking up at me, waiting patiently for his belly rub. I told him he's going to be famous, because I'm writing about him. He just looked to me as if to say, "I already am! I have my own admiring audience right here!"

Yep, that's our Hamlet.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Relaxing on her favorite couch.

So now we've come to another striped feline, this time it's our Heart. Heart is quite the independent cat, but don't let that fool you. She enjoys her humans, especially when newspapers, food, or catnip is involved.

Did somebody call me for dinner?
Once wild as the March wind, she is now loving, playful, curious, and -oh yeah - still a little WILD!

Heart with her favorite scratching post.

Heart wants to be the center of attention, especially when her humans are reading a newspaper or book. She will hop up on the reading material, promptly plop her rear down, and refuse to budge. 
Waiting for attention.
She thinks we ought to be paying attention to her, not some silly old paper. She simply doesn't tolerate receiving less than her share of attention. 
Getting her claws ready for some spirited play!
Spoiled beyond belief, she has wormed her way into our hearts. Also known as Sweetheart, Braveheart, Brown Eyes (it's true, they are a lovely shade of brown, not green like her other siblings and friends), she loves to be held and cuddled. She has come a long way, as she once couldn't even be caught.  Now she knows where home is and takes full advantage of it. And her scratching post. And her toys.

Heart in one of her playful moods.
And her humans. Always showing off those beautiful, striking markings on her shiny coat.

Such a beautiful cat!

So glad our Heart has become a part of our family.It's hard to imagine our home without her and her brown eyes!

Heart (left) with her late twin sister, Bindi (right).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A most charming little boy!
Stop! Thief!

Somewhere in this humble abode, there is a stash of goodies. Carmex tubes, electric toothbrush caps, bottle caps, assorted toys, pens and pencils. Don't most charming males have their secrets? I am Sugar Magnolia and my cat Romeo is a thief.

Scoping out another object to swipe.

A sweet thief, mind you. This little black cat has his ways of gentle persuasion and distraction, all the while plotting his next trophy heist. Small in size, he uses his famous "head tilt" and "paw raise" to be noticed.

The famous "paw raise" and beseeching look.
When he's sure he's charmed you enough, *SWIPE* there goes another treasure. He loves to steal little items, and I still don't know where he hides them. That will be his little secret. For now.

The beguiling "head tilt".

Also known as Black Magic, Lover Boy, Midnight, Sambo, and Cat Burglar, Romeo - not much bigger than his petite Juliet - is so loving and so sweet that we don't mind the occasional missing item. He loves nothing more than a treat, a chin scratch, and a little attention from his humans.

Sleeping on his favorite chair.
He comes to visit me at my computer, and is never pushy or rude. He will ease up, always polite, and look at me to be sure he can ask to be petted, never wanting to disturb me. Sometimes he likes to be held and loved, but only when the mood strikes him. And only when he isn't busy looking around for things to steal. I've taken to hiding my Carmex tubes and writing pens. I have to - I have precious little left!

Whoops. Guess the flash woke him up!

Romeo was the first one of the bunch to let me pick him up as a very small kitten. He never was skittish or feisty. He was always easy-going and very tame. Just as he did when he was a baby, he reaches his arms and paws upward when I move to pick him up, as if to say "Please pick me up and love me!" And he never bites, claws or scratches. He gets up on the bathroom basin and sweetly cocks his head until I turn on the water for him, charming me into submission every time. He is indeed a sweetie and a loving cat.

Romeo says his prayers before bed.
Just watch your stuff around him. When he works his magic and uses his considerable charms, you won't notice the suddenly disappearing objects!

Monday, July 9, 2012


In daddy's favorite chair.

All grown up now, the six tiny kittens who graced our lives a little over two years ago have brought an immeasurable amount of joy into our lives. Here is the beginning of six updates, one for each kitten (now cat), beginning with the littlest one, Juliet.

Waiting patiently for dad.

Juliet was always tiny, and probably the runt of one of the two suspected litters. She was extraordinarily shy, and resisted our touch (but not our food) for a few months. But she was feisty, and determined to make her own way.

So, when you live with humans, you have to show them who's boss...
Once we were able to get her to the vet's to get her shots and spay, we took her into the house and nevermore would she be a garage kitty. She quickly became accustomed to the good life, and worked her charms on dad. She soon became his favorite, his baby.

I wish dad would get home already...
So, she picked up a few more nicknames: Julie, Quarter-Pint (because, at a mere six pounds, she's not even as big as a half-pint), Q.P., Baby, Squirt, Littlest One. She has become the tiniest full-grown cat I've ever seen, but marked beautifully with Tabby stripes of brown and red.

The most beautiful Juliet you will ever see!
She is now ever so docile, and loves nothing better than to be held by dad. If dad even so much as goes away for a day, she will wander throughout the house, crying for him. And as small as she is, she has a giant meow, all the better to be noticed. Especially when she wants supper and treats. 
Is it my suppertime yet?

Oh Joy! It is!

She loves playing with string and fuzzy mice toys, and enjoys the occasional catnip binge.

Somebody say "Catnip"?
Juliet has become as lovely and as petite as her name implies. And, of course, the next blog will be all about her Romeo. You can't have one without the other!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Starting Over

So there's that rainbow!

After all the anger, the subterfuge, the pain, and finally, the sadness of watching the demise of a once-fine newspaper, and having to learn to let go, I can finally see the touch of grey clearing around those clouds and giving way to a beautiful, colorful, bright day.

I can now see the big picture and the most important thing I come away with from all of this is the enduring, wonderful friendships with people I would have never crossed paths with otherwise. I have been inspired, uplifted, tickled, and warmed by these folks who have become such a part of my life I cannot imagine being without them. And that is the rainbow after the storm of mourning the downward spiral of an entity that became, over the years, almost like a family member. I can understand the pain and grief of those who grew up with the Victoria Advocate, watching the transformation and eventual rotting of their hometown newspaper. When the Houston Post folded, I felt the same way, although its end wasn't reached by a similar, tasteless deterioration - the end result was the same. I abhored its death, but celebrated its once having been. The Victoria Advocate may still have lungs, but they are not really breathing, taking in the oxygen so desperately needed for this area. No, they are just existing now, not really a functioning member of the community any longer.

But, instead, now we have a fresh, new collective of bloggers, writers, jokesters, pundits and other assorted interesing characters that have gone beyond the constraints of a dying publication and found a home from which to share their thoughts, wisdom, sarcasm, and imagination.

It is a new day, with the most beautiful rainbow imaginable. Finally, peace is guiding the planets and love is steering the stars. Let the sun shine in!