Saturday Question, Rusty’s 13th Birthday And Merry Christmas to All!

If any of you are allergic to cats… stories, feel free to jump to the end, to the Saturday Question part.

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We all have witnessed that scenario in real life, on TV or maybe even participated in it from one of the two sides: a loving mother would tell “a funny story” from the past about her grown-up child, and the said child would be wincing with embarrassment or displaying his/her discomfort one way or the other.

Luckily for me (and him?), Rusty does not read my blog (as far as I know), so I can get off telling his kittenhood stories scot-free.

Hiding and Jumping

The apartment where Rusty spent his first year didn’t have too many places a kitten could hide. Rusty had discovered one great spot: in the corner behind the sectional sofa (on the photo below, it’s where the floor lamp stands). The spot was perfect in all respects but one: Rusty could easily get down there from the sofa, but since the bottom was too close to the floor, he couldn’t get out that way, and since the backrest was too high, Rusty couldn’t jump back up. So, once he would get bored hiding there, he would start crying, and one of us would lay on that backrest and fish him out from that corner. It wasn’t easy: that backrest was high. And one day my vSO managed to hurt himself trying to free Rusty. At this point, we gave up and moved the side of the sofa that was under the clock away from the wall – so that Rusty could get out on his own. I think that spot lost its appeal soon after that.

Corner Sofa and Wall Clock

Speaking of the clock. It’s hard to think of what was happening in Rusty’s head: the clock didn’t have a secondhand, so there wasn’t any noticeable movement. But he kept watching it for days. Then once, he stepped far away from the sofa (probably to somewhere close to the point of view for the photo above), then ran-ran-ran, jumped on the sofa, then on the back, uuuuup to the clock… What happened next looked exactly like the Glass Smack and Slide move from a cartoon: Rusty smacked into the wall under the clock and then slid down, behind that side of the sofa that we moved away from the wall. Silently. We thought that if he didn’t kill himself then definitely injured. But several long seconds later, Rusty walked out from behind the sofa, demonstrating with his demeanor that nothing had happened, and it wasn’t even him who just fell… He ignored that clock from that day on.

Sudden Attack of a Shopping Bag

In the same apartment, under the entryway console table, we kept a paper shopping bag that we used for recycled paper. Magazines, papers and store ads went into it as is, and for mail that one wasn’t supposed to just throw away my vSO worked as a human shredder. Rusty loved hunting in those bags. He would dive into it, find the most interesting piece of paper and play with it for a while, until either it went under the sofa, or we put it back into the bag. It went on for months, until one day Rusty managed to get his head through the bag’s handle, got spooked and started running with the half-empty bag “chasing” him. It took us some time to catch up with him and free him from that paper monster. My vSO called it “a sudden attack of a shopping bag.” It took Rusty a long time to forget about that incident. But in a while, he got over it and now considers those bags as a type of a box and either gets inside or sits on them.

Rusty in the Bag

Unexpected Effect of the Drought

With umbrellas, it was the opposite. For the first couple of years of his life, Rusty was fascinated with umbrellas, so whenever we would bring one into the house and open it to dry, Rusty would sniff it, sit under it or play with it. And then because of the 5-year drought we had in our area, umbrellas disappeared from Rusty’s life. And the next time he saw it, he unexpectedly got scared. Since then, as soon as he sees me carrying an umbrella, a closed one (!), he runs away. So, the only proof it hasn’t been always like that is those rare photos I managed to take when Rusty was much younger.


I have many other stories about Rusty – both from years ago and from yesterday, even though he got much smarter with age, learned a lot and taught us many things. But I’ll leave those stories for another time. Today, for his 13th birthday, Rusty got to spend quality time on our bed, enjoyed Ricotta cheese for breakfast and turkey breast for dinner (in addition to his regular meals), and was rewarded with plenty of treats for compliments he got from my readers and Instagram followers. I hope he stays healthy for many more years, keeps his kittenish mien and brings joy to us, our friends and everyone else who knows him in RL or online. And to all of you, from Rusty, my vSO and me (that photo was a collective effort):

Rusty Merry XMas 2021 and Happy NY

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Saturday Question #96:

Do You Have a Pet (and Does You Pet Like Your Perfumes)?

I know about pets companions of many of my loyal readers. Some of them virtually visited Rusty on his 10th Birthday. But I don’t know everyone’s pets, and I’m sure that many of you do not know each others’ cats, dogs, rabbits or rats (If you named your fish, I would consider those as pets as well) – so, please share your pets’ names, links to photos (if you have them publicly online) and, if you’re sure they don’t read my blog, any stories that they would have been embarrassed to hear.

What do your pets think about your perfumes (if anything)?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

My Answer

As a kitten, Rusty didn’t mind any of my perfumes. Then later he started cleaning my wrists when I tested some perfumes. As he grew older, he started avoiding stronger scents if I apply them to my wrists: he might come to sit on my lap, but then he smells perfume from my wrist and runs away. So, when I know that he would be spending some time with me, I try not to scent my wrists (neck is OK).


Do You Have a Pet (and Does You Pet Like Your Perfumes)?



37 thoughts on “Saturday Question, Rusty’s 13th Birthday And Merry Christmas to All!

  1. Happy birthday Rusty!! Right now I have two fur grandbabies in the house…Pickles Bella (who will stay after the holidays) and Wedge Licorice (who goes back to college with his mama)..they are the Doublemint twins and look like the black cat on your first photo! Not sure how they feel about my perfumes but they both like to snuggle so my guess is they tolerate whatever I wear. Merry Christmas!! Happy New Year!


    • Happy Holidays to you and your extended family (including the furry ones).
      The black cat on the first picture is a toy: back then when I took it, we weren’t allowed to have pets. As soon as the rules changed, we got Rusty.


  2. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a huge Happy Birthday to Rusty! May you have many more happy years together!

    I am snuggled up on the couch with Mila the Papillon dog right now. She is mostly indifferent to my perfumes but seems to like Lush Cardamom Coffee as she licks me when I wear it. I bought the solid perfume to wear to bed since she sleeps on the pillow over my head and licks my face and nibbles on my hair. :-)


    • Good to know, but it does not sound like just sniffing scents or tasting dried, sprayed skin can hurt cats? I am careful about those shower spays that help prevent soap build up because cat often love to investigate a wet shower.


  3. Love the Rusty kitten stories. Our beagle rescue never seemed interested in my perfume, which is interesting considering how motivated he was by other smells, good and bad. Perhaps he recognized that perfume ≠ food!


  4. Happy belated 13th birthday Rusty. May you live to a ripe old age!
    Our last cat, Sophie Jane, had a difficult first three years but found our family aged 3 and lived 18 more gloriously happy, pampered years as part of our family. Never very playful but obviously loved “her” boys. I’m sure she was the recipient of many, many childhood & teenage boys secrets!
    We now have our fabulous black Mr Jarvis Cockapoo! Check him out @cockajarvis on Instagram. Yes he is the campest dog in the county. Going out in the wet? Cold? Wind? Snow? Nope, not Jarvis.
    Mr Jarvis Cockapoo is tucked up on the sofa in his Christmas jumper, has eaten a doggy friendly festive meal & will change into his animal print pyjamas around 8pm


  5. Merry Christmas, Undina, to you and vSO and Rusty! Your tattletale stories are delightful. Of the three cats we have had in our home, only our recent – since July – kitten has reacted to perfumes. He recoils at any I have tried on me, but he sniffs bottles and samples that he comes across in his explorations. I suspect he thinks I am supposed to smell like “me” without perfume, and he is confused if another smell is on me. I wonder if in time, some of my frequently worn scents will not concern him?


    • Thank you, MossyBerry.
      Cats’ noses are much more perceptive than ours, so it might be that perfumes just smell too strong for them. But I think you’re right: with time, I think he’ll get used to some of them.


  6. Happy birthday, Rusty! And Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! Our dog Lucy is 9. We got her from a rescue group in South Carolina; we think she is part Carolina Dog. She is such a funny girl — very quirky, but also very happy and friendly. She doesn’t seem to notice perfume at all.


  7. That pic of Rusty in the sleigh is heaven Undina. Worth whatever effort it took.

    My Paris used to love perfume and would snuggle deep into my chest and go to sleep for hours.
    Nowadays if I’m wearing perfume he will stay for a few minutes if I’m lucky, make ack ack noises in his throat and move away. It’s amusing but sad because I love puppy cuddles.

    Merry everything to you Undina, the family and all the Looking Glass readers.
    Portia xx


  8. Happy belated birthday to Rusty! Hope you all had a great Christmas. I don’t have any pets but I spent a lot of time with dogs this holiday and none of them minded my perfumes, which I wore mostly on my neck. Some of them would try to “clean” my wrists. Cheers to another year of fantastic Rusty pictures!


  9. I love the sleigh picture too – those tidy paws! Rusty does look very youthful for 13, more than twice Truffle’s age (whom I know you know, hehe). I have no idea what she thinks about my perfumes, possibly for the same reason I don’t get compliments on them – as with my fellow humans I don’t apply enough to entice or offend.


    • Thank you, Vanessa!
      I’m sure Truffle appreciates your moderate perfume application.
      I had that sleigh decoration for years and planned to attempt to take this picture, but this year for the first time I did assemble it and tricked Rusty to sit in it :)


  10. I hope Rusty had a wonderful birthday and that he has many more years ahead. He had some lovely food on his birthday for sure! I don’t have any fur babies at the moment. In the past we had 2 beautiful kitties, a Siamese and a fluffy black Maine Coon mix named Jet. Poor Jet was murdered by 2 rogue neighborhood dogs when we lived in Miami. He had a lovely floofy tail like Rusty and he was such a sweet boy.
    We also had 2 Italian greyhounds, who both lived to be 13 years of age, which is pretty old for an Italian greyhound. They were the sweetest boys ever. I love sighthounds and would love to have a whippet or rescue greyhound.


    • We always feed him something special for all holidays. It’s not hard to do since he loves food.
      I knew one whippet, and he was such a dear dog! I hope, you’ll get to share your life with one of these wonderfully strange animals :)


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