The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


She Loves Me Just For Me!

Nepeta cataria L. ;Original Description: Katze...

Nepeta cataria L. ;Original Description: Katzenminze, Nepeta cataria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Catnip is one of those things that cats either love or hate.  In the Stanton camp, Micah adores it.  Rachel is critical of it.  I was trying to coax Rachel over to me so she could try catnip this morning.   She made a beeline for me while skirting the hated object.  Imagine that – a cat who loves me for me and not the catnip that I can offer!  🙂

Oh – and not to worry – Micah later snarfed up Rachel’s portion too.  Now everyone is happy!  🙂

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Humanizing Wednesday: The Cat Who Could Cook

Cat food for sale at an Istanbul animal market

Cat food for sale at an Istanbul animal market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Micah the cat

not generally a brat

put on a cook’s hat

and cooked for his sister.

He thought he was smart enough

because he watched his human mama

open cans of moist cat food

that smelled delish.


But he wanted to actually cook..

The delicacies his mama made for people

sent him scurrying to his favorite cat cookbook:

The Cat of Cooking.


Mama didn’t see all the proceedings

but a rare sight greeted her when she came home.

Micah had gotten into the refrigerator

and somehow got some pancake syrup in his hair.

When he made homemade pasta,

the flour went up his triangle nose

and some unused, cooked pasta

hung around his tail.


The smell of beef came from his mouth

but his sister rejected him, saying,

“I told you to cook fish for dinner!”

Micah, I guess, was not a winner.


Then Micah became content again

to wait patiently for his cat supper.

Only the best for this interesting cat

and his darling, princess-like sister!

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Perfume Haters

Fragrance Wheel perfume classification chart, ...

Fragrance Wheel perfume classification chart, ver. 1983 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not complaining about people who hate perfume, I don’t like it in large doses either.   A lot of people have allergies to scents, and I can understand this, as sometimes I cough when someone has too much on when I’m around.

Much of corporate America has policies prohibiting their employees to wear scents in the workplace due to the increasing amount of allergies.

The perfume hater I am talking about today is my cat Micah.  When I reached out to him to say goodbye yesterday morning, as soon as he smelled my hand he recoiled and looked at me as if to say, “Hey, whatcha doin’ to me here?”   He evidently smelled Giorgio on my wrist.  It took me awhile to figure out why he recoiled, since I usually don’t wear cologne during the week, and usually forget to put it on on the weekends.  (I follow my company’s scent policy.)  My perfume collection has tapered down to three favorites now, so Micah should be glad I don’t have as much as I used to!  🙂

In contrast to that, my dear departed Tiger was drawn to me when I came back from Jamaica and had my hair in corn rows.  He laid on my pillow every time I went to bed, and I fell asleep to the sound of him sniffing my hair.  He couldn’t get enough!

Life:  what a contrast.

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Cat Limerick

Did you hear of the cat owned by Jack Spratt?
The one who could only sleep on an old mat?

I don’t know who was stranger, the cat or the man
I do know that the man liked to boil marbles in his sauce pan.

I like Jack Spratt and his cat far more than I like a fly-by-night bat!


“I have yet to see a cat, any cat, who has insomnia.”


I don’t know who coined that phrase, but I think it’s a former U.S. president.  This phrase is so very true, at least for my two cats!  Our cats have been known to encourage human beings to take naps; their total laziness does impart a sense of relaxation.    Meoowwww, it’s time to take a nap now…   🙂


Another Beautiful Day!

Ivan Aivazovsky's painting Walking on Water (1888)

Ivan Aivazovsky’s painting Walking on Water (1888) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I say that, not because it’s early morning on a sunny day.  No, it’s cloudy, but I started the day out with a walk.  No two walks are ever the same with me.  Today’s walk provided some animal company.  🙂

Since it’s my day off, I decided to try another walking route nearby, to see how many minutes it takes to do that one.  Coming home, on the wooden path over the marsh, I saw the black cat.

The black cat who, last year, on one of the trails, let me pet him but then would hiss.  Pet again, hiss.  Pet, hiss.

This year he didn’t hiss at me.  He rolled around on his belly and rubbed against me.  I noticed that he (black) had a mustache area of gray and a few gray hairs sprinkled on his back.  Maybe he is mellowing.  🙂

This cat and I would walk together, he’d stay back and I’d encourage him to walk with me again.  We did that about four times.  It was a sweet moment for me, and upon my return, Micah got to “meet” this other cat from smelling my hand.  Come to think of it, I’ve seen this black cat run up my front porch steps.  He probably knows it’s a cat-friendly place.

By the way, when I got home, I forgot to see how long I had been walking.  Something to do on Saturday.  🙂

You may wonder what the painting on this post has to do with anything I’ve talked about today.  It doesn’t.  I just saw it on Zemanta and loved it so much, I posted it.  You know how I love watercolors and shades of yellow and water itself.   This picture captures all three VERY well.

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NaPoWriMo #8

English: Is a photo of a turkey Català: És una...

English: Photo of a proud tom turkey Català: És una fotografia d’un gall dindi en epoca d’aparellament (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


You remember that Rachael is our newest cat?

She is very small and classier than the Cat in the Hat.

Every early morning she rushes to her favorite place

to see her favorite wild turkeys almost face to face.

Almost all year three tom turkeys stroll past

and look for food by our front deck.

Lately the hens hang out, they make their visit last

and watch the tom with the scrawny neck.

The hens could about Tom care less

Even as he puts on his courting show.

His tail feathers fan out for who he admires, Bess,

He really hopes she won’t say no.

Today Tom again came calling

but lo, his confidence is falling.

The hens had already come and gone,

They weren’t interested in his feathery brawn.

Rachael waits for the hens to come back,

she seems to be on their side.

She’s concerned about the hens and their lack

and wants her Mama to bring them inside.

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What About Micah?

As you may recall, Micah is my oldest cat.  On February 6th his friend Tiger died.  About three weeks later we acquired Rachael, a very petite adult younger cat.  The two get along famously, but I can tell that Micah still is not the same as before.


Today he woke me up in the tradition of Tiger, meowing right in my ear instead of snuggling with me like he always used to do.  And, to take Tiger’s place with me in my office (or as closely as possible), Micah now sits on my desk, right above my pullout tray for my keyboard.  Our computer has a cordless mouse now, and when I am writing, Micah nuzzles my hand for some scratching that he loves.  In the process, however, the mouse gets bumped out of my hand, or some categories of the post I am writing get checked, when I know that the categories are not right.  Well, you can guess who my ghostwriter is – Micah Bean.  (I add the name Bean to his name and say it lovingly.)

Oh yeah.  Micah wants you to know that he does NOT like lamb and rice canned cat food like his sister does.  Oh well, there’s a critic in every crowd.  🙂


Micah's Look-A-Likes

Micah’s Look-A-Likes


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Rachael the Wonder Cat

Our “little one”, Rachael, is so amazing!  I hereby list why I think so:


*  She does not cry in the car in her little cat carrier.  She is a joy to drive with, the only cat who didn’t cry the whole way to the vet and back.

*  After her declaw surgery, she does not walk with any tenderness in her front feet whatsoever.   She jumps on the beds and to high places even after surgery.  Wow!

*   She is the size of a maturing kitten – very petite.   She is the first cat we’ve had that wasn’t “portly”.  (Maybe I can take a lesson from her)

*  She is three years old but has the bounce and energy of a kitten.

Okay, so maybe there aren’t  lot of reasons why she is so special…I hope she can gain some patience for getting ear drops twice a day (her Catmom needs this, too) for an ear infection I discovered.

I should brag on our elder cat, Micah.   On Day 6, he and Rachael met each other and have been friendly since.  He already lets her sleep close to him, and it took years for Tiger to get “permission” from Micah for close contact.

Dave and I are SO blessed!  In addition to the new furniture and new cat, Dave also brought home a brand new computer that has the latest and greatest loaded on it already, and it is incredible!   Thank you so much, Honey, we’re sure going to enjoy this!

Over and out, God Bless,


P.S.  What is special about your pet or pets?


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Pitter pit pat,

I think I smell a rat

said the cat

whose momma was fat

and wouldn’t take her turn at bat.


This girl cat was new to hunting

she wasn’t fond of punting

but her Catmom loved her like a baby in a bunting.

Maybe her new brother Micah will show her

how to catch live things with fur

although it was actually Tiger who had been the hunter.


The Stantons would like to give you a wish

that your weekend is, simply put, quite a dish.   🙂

Meoww and goodbye,

Debb and crew



Poetry Saturday: Poverty

Cat, with its mouth open

Cat, with its mouth open (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s poem will use abstract or indefeinite nouns in a concrete or definite sense – i.e.

“He slaughtered his gluttony for it to be forever gone.”


She sat in the dark bedroom, pinching the pennies in her checkbook

hoping against hope that for getting out of this mess, there would be some salvation.


He wanted to fly amongst the clouds into infinity

and not have to worry about this thing called unemployment


Their little girl escaped into her safe place

to imagine the bill collectors falling off the steep front porch

after they beat down the door.


Her older brother struck out into the air with his fists

to punish Poverty for attempting to bother them.

He kicked the state of being morose

into the yawning, dark pit of hell.


The family pets,

a cat and a dog,

meowed and whined at the hunger in their little stomachs.

They wanted to go back to their ancestors,

to the jungles and hillsides

where there might be a little more food than here.


Salvation did eventually arrive, not a moment too soon

and made their hearts shine.

Charity saved the day

and blessed the giver of the money

as much as it had blessed this precious little family.




A New Addition To Our Family

English: A cat named Kylie. Español: Una gata ...

Our new cat Rachael has this coloring but not any white. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dave and I adopted a little female cat for our cat Micah yesterday.  I say “for Micah” because he and I both were inconsolable after losing Tiger…and Dave’s birthday is coming soon so “Rachael” is also a birthday present.Rachael, who is a little wisp of a 3 year old cat, was found at a local rescue place where the cats can roam free and learn how to interact with other cats.   She is half the size of Micah and came with that name.   We are keeping the name because now both cats have Biblical names!  🙂

The shelter had labeled Rachael as “calico tabby”, but I say she is a Torbie (tortoise shell and Tabby mix).   We pick her up Tuesday night at our new vet’s house.

And speaking of new additions….you may remember me saying how I’m grieving over my friend Patti’s moving away this year.  Well, they are having a new house built for them in their new town and cannot take much furniture or their BIG tv…so I am buying most of it from them.   Now our family room will have matched, wonderful furniture, our master bedroom will be very classy now, and we’ll be able to get rid of my mom’s kitchen set that I always hated and have the set that I always loved….when I had my cat and dog care business, I spent many a week or weekend in Patti’s house and got used to their furniture.   Patti and her husband are like family so they (er, their furniture) will be a part of our home now.

The big furniture transfer will hopefully be on March 7th.  I’ve been having fun planning what furniture will go where, and now we’ve got some rearranging to do to help that to happen!  🙂   Oh, which reminds me, our garage’s storage area needs to be cleaned out too.  Never a dull moment in the Stanton household, and for that I am thankful!   🙂

P.S.  Patti is such an amazing lady.  Before I met her, she had her own photography business.  She bequeathed to me her award-winning, huge picture that I already have put up in the family room.   It’s a wonderful remembrance of my dear, precious friend.


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This poem was inspired by something my husband realized.  Thanks, Honey!


Dear Tiger Pants,

Your daddy and I sure miss you.

You’re like the bookends of our life.

You came to us when things were getting rocky,

moved away with me when we divorced,

helped a very frightened cat Micah

to feel loved and safe again,

and got to see Dave and I find each other again.

Now that we are remarried and doing nicely,

you probably felt your job was done.

Well, my dear, sweet cat,

Micah can never take your place.

He doesn’t warm up my lap like you did

and beg at our table like a little dog.

He’s not the sentry you were;

You always did such a nice job keeping watch over everything

and “patrolling” the house.

Oh, yeah –

You were a wonderful little hunter.

You ate all the insects you could find

(except that really huge one on the screen once),

I believe you ate one or two mice,

and I know for sure

(I watched and heard)

you especially loved eating tree frogs

that would jump up the side of the townhouse

and onto our deck over the garage.

They didn’t stand a chance with you around.

Dave and I took you away

from a trailer where the guy was never home

and where you got your fear of storms from

his darn tin roof.

We thought we were doing you a favor,

but now I know that it’s the other way around.

You brought love and comfort to us both,

and I thought it cute when I could see your mouth move to meow

but your words did not come out.

Oh Tiger,

it’s going to be so hard without you,

but maybe writing this poem will help.

Make sure you catch a lot of little miceys

up there in Heaven,

and I and Daddy will be along some day.



P.S. Micah misses you very much too.


How Does a Cat Die?



I am Cat Mom to two cats,

and I refer to myself as “Mama” to them and other pets I take care of.

Life at the Stanton household is strange lately.

Our oldest cat Tiger is either

having a cold or is dying.

About a week ago Tiger woke me up from sleep

with coughing, different than coughing up a fur ball.

Friday night Dave and I ate our supper in peace

because for once Tiger didn’t pester us for a handout.

He wasn’t even near our table.

(He is a cat but sits up like a dog when begging, which is at every meal.)

Then on Saturday I knew something was up with Tiger.

I was having lunch in my recliner,

and I was delighted to see Tiger jump up again.

(He hadn’t slept on the bed the night before like always,

and I hardly saw him.)

But he actually, really, truly, ignored

the piece of meat I offered him.  He jumped down without eating meat.

This is not like Tiger.

He will be 16 years old on April 18th.

I know that when cats are sick,

they often hide.

I hope it’s just a cat cold

and nothing worse.

How does a cat die?

The other cats we’ve had

died by the age of five,

and they had had to be euthanized.

It is now 1:41 a.m. and I’m writing this in my office.

Unable to sleep,

I got up and did happen to see Tiger near his water bowl.

(This is the second night in a row Tiger did not sleep near me.)

Micah, his “brother” and my younger cat,

is in the office with me and crying a lot.

Maybe he also senses that something is amiss?

I pray Tiger will be okay.

Thank you for your concern.



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What I Don’t Expect

Did this really happen?!

Blue Jay

Rooster: “I’m the cat’s bait, but how come he’s not moving?”
Cat: “Mother never told me hunting would be this easy. How fast can he fly?”

Here you see pictures of an unlikely event.  I just love them because they are so out-of-the-ordinary, a cat and bird getting along (for now, anyway!).

A little old lady was given two pieces of candy by the Santa Claus in her grocery store, and he talked to her in a kindly manner.  It made her cry, to think that someone thought of her and didn’t dismiss her because she was “too old”.   (That Santa Claus was my father.) I never expected to get cancer, either – It would only happen to other people…and three years after the fact, it seems like it never happened.  🙂 Today, six blue jays were flying together by my study  window – first to the porch (whose edge I can see from my window), then to the big bushes, then up to my roof and down to the oak tree.  What is truly amazing is the fact that they didn’t squawk like crows do when they get together (blue jays are in the same family of birds as crows).  They kind of whined, didn’t really sing, and they sounded sort of like puppies! I am finding out that there are many things that happen that really surprise me.  I forget that not everything out there is written in stone, and change can be good.  🙂  What are your thoughts on the subject?English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...

Blue Jay Portrait


For the Young at Heart: A Bedtime Story!

English: Kelley-Bland-Ward House, County Road ...

English: Kelley-Bland-Ward House, County Road 2 (Cahaba Road, near intersection with Dallas County Road 123) vicinity, Orrville, Dallas, AL. FIREPLACE AND MANTEL (LIVING ROOM). Built in 1855 and demolished in 1945. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello again –

I was writing a new poem in my head today but then it changed into a story.  I will publish it in parts so you don’t get bogged down.  🙂

Where Did The Sunshine and Music go?

-by Debbie Loesel Stanton*

When there was a clunk and a clatter in the living room, the cats Tiger and Micah rushed down the stairs to get to the family room – to safety.  They didn’t like loud noises, especially Micah.  They were used to living in a very quiet, serene household.

When the coast was clear, the cats came back upstairs to the living room.  They wondered what had caused the noise, and then they found her.  “Her” was Raggedy Ann, who normally lived on the shelf in the study.  She had apparently jumped down and was trying to gather the music boxes from the fireplace mantel.  The clunk and clatter came from the music boxes falling to the floor, and the one Debbie bought in Switzerland, the one with the four little wooden legs, lost one of its legs.

raggedy ann

raggedy ann (Photo credit: schmish)

“Raggedy Ann!  What are you doing?!”  exclaimed Tiger, who was the eldest cat in the household.  He had been Debbie’s sentry cat for 12 years, and he thought it was his duty to know all the goings-on in the house.  “Don’t you live in the study?”

“Well, I do, but I wanted to call a meeting, right away, and you guys are invited,” she replied.  “I think Debbie is in trouble!”

“No way is Debbie in trouble,” Micah assured the others.  “I sleep with her every night when I’m not on my household adventures in the middle of the night.  I can hear her heart beating, that’s how close I sleep to her, and I would know if anything was wrong with her.”

“But I think even you are missing something,” Raggedy Ann protested.  “Lately whenever she comes into the study to work on her writing, she seems different.  Like she has gossamer angel wings and gauzy stuff over her. “

“But that’s good,” said the cats, “because she loves to write.  We don’t know if writing every day helps her to feel good, or feeling good helps her to write every day, but this is something she’s always dreamed of.  Why is this a bad thing?”

“Because Debbie doesn’t seem quite right.  She seems like she’s slowed down or something, and she’s not singing lately.  It’s like the sunshine has left!” Raggedy Ann volunteered.

So everyone got settled in for the meeting.  Micah jumped to his place on top of the loveseat.  Tiger sat on the loveseat, Raggedy Ann sat on the ottoman in front of it, and some of the music box collection sat in a row on the floor where Raggedy Ann had placed them.

Next up:  the household figures out what to do for Debbie.

*This piece of writing is not in the public domain.  Please contact author for permissions.