Orange Cats in My Life – Part IV: Those that have just broken the flower vase…


… all animals are divided into one of 14 categories:
– Those that belong to the emperor
– Embalmed ones
– Those that are trained
– Suckling pigs
– Mermaids (or Sirens)
– Fabulous ones
– Stray dogs
-Those that are included in this classification
– Those that tremble as if they were mad
– Innumerable ones
– Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
– Et cetera
– Those that have just broken the flower vase
– Those that, at a distance, resemble flies
J. L. Borges, Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge

I do not like kittens. It’s not that I have a dislike for them but I don’t get that well-studied feeling of cuteness overload when I see kittens in real life or on pictures. I love mature cats. So when a new management of the complex where we lived changed the rules allowing small pets, on our trip to the shelter we intended to offer our home to a 1-2 year old cat. The only other requirement I had at the time was that it had to be a male cat.

All cats we saw that day were either much older or females. But I think we looked like people who were seriously going to get a cat so shelter workers kept showing us all the cats they had there not paying attention to my insistent “young but adult male cat.” And then we saw Him.

Four months old, playful and not in the least shy kitten had no objections to us picking him up and petting. And he was white and orange and resembled a little our first cat (see Part I: Found and Lost). And even his name on the cage’s label – Rusty – was reminiscent of that first cat’s name Rizhik (not surprisingly since words used in both languages were intended to describe the exterior). We just couldn’t leave without him.

Rusty at 5 months

When we got home, I told Rusty another requirement I had in mind: I would not have a cat who doesn’t like to be petted or sit on my lap. I even threatened to take him back to the shelter if he decides to be too independent. Either he took the warning very seriously or we both just lucked out but whenever I sit down Rusty almost always comes to me.

“Medium hair orange tabby” it says in his official documents. Judging by his look and behavior there was a Maine Coon climbing Rusty’s family tree at some point. And nine out of every twelve months in the year I really want to invite the kind person who thought of that “medium hair” joke. Rusty’s hair is everywhere!

Medium hair orange tabby

Even though from the beginning we were feeding him cat food, he doesn’t discriminate: cat food, human food – food is food – and it never stays in his bowl for longer than 2-3 minutes. And he never stops foraging around hoping to find anything edible we left unattended. Rusty is so strongly food-motivated that he would do tricks for treats: “Sit“, “(another) Paw!“, “Down“, “Up“, “Jump“. Also we suspect that eating for him is a social interaction as well: both my vSO and I love fruits and Rusty also developed taste for some of them. He loves (as in actually tries to pry them from my hands) oranges, peaches and apricots.

Rusty and Orange

Before we got Rusty, my vSO and I had two favorite Dunoon mugs (different shapes but both with cats on them). For years, unless we had guests over, we would drink everything only from those mugs. While I managed to train Rusty in many areas (for example, not to wake us up in the morning) there are rules that he refuses to follow. Rusty knows that he’s not allowed to be on counters and tables but every time he hopes to find there something to eat or wants to annoy us because he thinks we’re withholding food beyond the allowed schedule, he keeps jumping to where he’s not  supposed to be and then plays “dead weight” when we try to remove him. My favorite mug has become a casualty in one of those battles. Since I couldn’t replace it (retired pattern) my vSO out of solidarity (and not to lose it as well, I guess) retired his mug into a cupboard.

Rusty and the Broken Mug

Same as my other favorite cat Garfield (see Part II: Grin without a Cat), Rusty doesn’t like spiders. He hunts them and eats them – if he can get to them and if they are not too yucky. Otherwise he attracts our attention to them meowing loudly and gets a treat for each spider. Rusty also gets a treat for each “Awww…” (see Part III: Love from the First ‘Awww…’) or other expression of admiration from my readers for his appearances in my perfume pictures.

Since the age they told us when we adopted Rusty was approximate, we made a decision that he would be our “Christmas cat” and we celebrate his birthday on Christmas Eve. This year he turned five. As a birthday gift he got a new cat bed. I was afraid he wouldn’t like it and had an elaborate plan of pretending it was something I brought for myself to sit on… I didn’t get a chance to play it out: Rusty loved it immediately and he slept in it through almost the whole day.

Rusty in His New Bed

My vSO found a back-up for his mug under the Christmas tree so his favorite mug came back from the retirement. And this concludes the Orange Cats in My Life series. In January I will go back to my kind of perfume-related posts with Year 2013 Entertaining Statistics.

Happy New Year to all my friends and readers!

Happy New Year 2014


Images: my own

Know-how: Storing Your Perfume Samples

Cat in a boxAt some point my life was simpler: I had my perfumes in original bottles (and most of them in original boxes); samples that I owned were manufacturers’ ones, easy to store in those paper jackets and all fifteen or twenty of those could easily fit into a single drawer. And then it all started: ordering samples from the usual suspects, getting them at Nordstrom and swapping with other perfume addic enthusiasts…

While I was ordering samples or getting them only for those perfumes about which I knew, I could still keep a track of them and remember where I had what, which perfumes I’d tried and which I hadn’t. But then with some batch purchases, extras from swaps, random drawing winnings and my own decanting for traveling my samples box kept filling up and I didn’t feel in control any more. Everything that I got to wear would still be entered into the database and accounted for but many samples were ignored for months just because I forgot I had them or I couldn’t find them fast enough when I wanted to test one of them. It’s not easy to find the one 1 ml vial in a pile of a hundred of those, is it?

Using ammo boxes for the storage wasn’t my idea: I read about it on one of the blogs (NST, I think) in the topic on the perfume storage. But when I tried to look into that option I found quickly that I had no idea which size I needed. So I dropped the idea for a while. And then I realized I had a friend who was a member of a gun club. I brought him vials of the most common sizes and he helped me to choose the correct box size.

Ammo boxLast week instead of testing new perfumes, writing about them or reading your blog entries the day they were published (I got to most of them eventually), I was organizing my samples. At some point I might change the way I sort them and do it by note, perfumer or type, but for now I’ve just organized them by size first, then by brand and then by name. On the picture above, box on the left (B1) can hold fifty 1 ml short vials or 1.5 ml dab and spray vials or skinny 2 ml dab and spray vials. Box on the right (B2) can hold fifty wider 2 ml spray vials or 2.5 ml spray vials or, I’m not sure about the size, standard Nordstrom sample plastic spray vials.

My cat Rusty thought I went through the exercise just to empty the nice box for him to use – which he did immediately after I vacated it. Well, he tried to play The Prince(ss) and The Pea even before I took the last vial out of it but I didn’t allow him. Once he got in he slept there for a couple of hours. And then I reclaimed it for the next batch of samples that will be in there soon, I’m positive.

If you want to use that solution, here are links to the sizes of boxes I use:

B1: 50 ct (the one on my picture is this one, but my friend says it’s the same one), 100 ct.

B2: 50 ct, (100 ct)

I plan to investigate a proper size for 3-5 ml spray vials and when I find those I’ll post an update.

How do you store 8-10 ml decants in tall bottles that aren’t too stable on their own?

As always, feel free to post a link to your blog’s post(s) related to the topic.

Images: my own

Perfume Purrfect?

There comes a time in every blogger’s life when you should write about your pet. So here I am.

I share my habitat with a very good-natured, affectionate and companionable medium hair orange tabby cat (though whoever classified him as such should start coming to my place daily in a month Rusty and Climat by Lancomeso we could discuss that definition over their vacuuming my floors and other surfaces covered with that “medium” hair). He’s very food-oriented (he even learned some tricks – sit, paw, down) and omnivorous (among strange things that my cat likes are mangoes, avocados, apricots and pecans). We got him from a shelter two years ago, and he keeps brightening lives of everybody around him as a small furry sun. His name is Rusty.

Dive in to keep reading…