A Mew Zing

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Location: ...in the country, Ireland

My name is Silvia (also known as SalixTree ), I live in the Irish countryside. I write and illustrate children's books. I like to garden, cross stitch, crochet, and read fantasy books.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cats in trees and windows

Tinkerbelle in the beech

Dib in the ash

Tinkerbelle behind the curtain

Tinkerbelle in the kitchen window

Dib on the back step

Pippin and Dib at the top of the stairs

Pippin waiting for food

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the year of knowing Grizzle

Our first sighting of the creature was in the late summer, on the stone wall behind our house. It looked like a slinking diseased ghost
A very shy apparition …

The white underfur, almost minklike, appeared from a distance to be some sort of severe mange.

 If you saw him, it would be for an instant .. the second he knew you could see him …. gone .. slunk off

 He came to eat the scraps left over in the food bowl, we fed the local strays. He ate and kept a lookout, made sure he was alone.

He would wait far off till I filled the bowl and went back inside before he approached.  Soon he became used to seeing me behind the glass door.. we looked at each other, but we kept our distance.

 One cold winter day he meowed so pitifully, it was more of a scratchy shrill screech I opened the door to see what was wrong.. and he came inside.

 He found our kitchen heater, and made himself at home.

 He loved heaters! This one in the kitchen had an open flame, and one day he came so close to it, his tail caught fire! My husband grabbed his tail right away, and flicked the fire out in an instant, so no harm done.. Grizzle wasn't even aware of what happened.
After that, we put the fireplace screen in front of it.

He eventually found my art room, and sat near the heater in there.

He soon made his way to the top of the heater, where he loved to sit, right next to where I was trying to work. In this picture, you can see the strange fur he had.. a beigry white undercoat, with longish black hairs sticking out. He had none of the soft cat fur that most other cats have.

He was a sweet little thing, and when he discovered that being petted was nice, he just loved it to bits! It was like a drug to him.

 That year he became part of the family. He loved sitting by the back door, soaking up the sun.

He started looking less like  a skinny starving stray, and more like a lovely pet cat

That spring and summer, he enjoyed the garden.

The other stray cat, Winky didn't seem to mind him being around.

Our other cats didn't mind him either, they all got along well.

Grizzle loved the soft grass.

He liked to follow me around, posing prettily in from of flowers.

Lounging with Tinkerbelle in the summer shade.

I got a photo of all five cats together!  Tinkerbelle on the window ledge, Pippin just below her, Dib (my son's cat) next to the potted orange tree, Winky having lunch, and Grizzle watching him.

As the year wore on, Grizzle seemed to be losing weight

and drool a lot. We thought he might have been sick, but before we could take him to the vet, he  disappeared. 

This is the last photo I took of Grizzle. We never saw him again. We searched, but found no trace of him. We think he might have laid down somewhere under a shrub to die.
Michael and I are happy that we could have given this cat a warm home to live his last year in comfort.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Goodbye Gandalf

. . . . . . . . . . Gandalf we named him
. . . . . . . . . . Shy and half wild
. . . . . . . . . . He of the Golden Eyes
. . . . . . . . . . He with of the rich grey fur

. . . . . . . . . . Gandalf the Grey
. . . . . . . . . . A cat of wary ways
. . . . . . . . . . without a home
. . . . . . . . . .content to roam

. . . . . . . . . . He learned from us
. . . . . . . . . . and we from him
. . . . . . . . . . He came to trust us
. . . . . . . . . . and we to need him.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . (poem by Michael Becker)

Gandalf passed away September 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

summer in the garden

Tinkerbelle on the garden table

Pippin sleeping in the daisies

Gandalf (our stray) posing by the wallflowers

Monday, April 27, 2009


I haven't posted for ages. Should get back to putting up my kitty pics. I'll get to it in mid May, I'll be away till then.

Here's Pippin by the weeping willow, near Molly's grave.

Tinkerbelle in my art room on the windowsill, warming herself in the sun.


Tas passed away in January. He had a stroke and couldn't walk or stand anymore. So I had to carry him around, feed him with my fingers and on plates under his face. He only wanted to eat sardines. I was afraid to take him to the vet, because I knew what would happen. My son (Tas's human) came to see him on the third day. He was deteriorating so we decided it was best to take him to the vet, where he was put to sleep.
Those photos are his last few days. He spent his last evening on my lap, I sat with him a long time and watched a garden show, and 2 films. He seemed very content. He lived for about 18 years.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My daughter and son, who live in Dublin, just got their first cat. Well, he's a kitten still, and he's a sweet tiny thing. His name is Dib. Here, he was resting on my daughter's bed.
Why is there a carrot on her bed? I asked myself this question.. but my daughter was not home, so I never found out.