Category Archives: Cats

Nothing but cats

Happy new year

The huge storm that we were supposed to get on 12/30 & 12/31 never arrived, having gotten lost somewhere out over the Pacific Ocean.

Although it was in the 50s and 60s outside, the sun was out both days.

Inside, where it was 74, Little Queen Olivia found a sunny spot in the living room.

Little Queen Olivia

Happy New Year
from our house to yours!

The Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Garden—A Review

The Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Garden
A Review

Hippos at the Los Angeles ZooI became a fan of zoos after my first visit to the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, in summer 1966. If I had never seen a giraffe, or an elephant, or a rhinoceros, or a hippopotamus…. I never would have taken such an interest in their plight in the world.

Chimpanzees at the Los Angeles ZooA couple of years later, a real live monkey showed up in our yard. My wise old grandmother told me to give it a banana. I though that was only in cartoons. The darn thing ate it. And as with just about any animal, if you feed it, it’s yours.

That monkey stayed in the trees in our back yard for several months. I named it Cheetah.

Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical GardenThen, one day, people showed up to take Cheetah. They were people from the San Antonio Zoo. A monkey was considered an exotic pet, and exotic pets were not allowed in Kingsville, Texas. We had to let them capture Cheetah and take him away.

When San Antonio hosted Hemisfair in 1968, I convinced my wise old grandmother to take me to San Antonio. Sure I wanted to go to Hemisfair, but more importantly to this little boy, I wanted to go to the San Antonio Zoo to see Cheetah.

Serval at the Los Angeles ZooI don’t know whether or not Cheetah recognized me, but to this day I believe he did. All one has to do is watch YouTube videos about animals recognizing those who rescued them, fed them, and cared for them, even after being separated from them for weeks, months, and, in one case, 11 years. Yeah, our animals that we care for know who we are.

Los Angeles ZooYesterday, Jim and I went to the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Garden. I had never been to the Los Angeles Zoo, but since I have been going to the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park on a regular basis for 26½ years, I already knew that the Los Angeles Zoo didn’t have anything that I had not already seen. Thus, my main interest was in the Botanical Garden aspect of the zoo with the possible intent of including a section in my forthcoming book, SSS: Southwest Succulent Staycation.

Ostrich at the Los Angeles ZooThe Los Angeles Zoo opened in 1966, so it’s about fifty years younger than the San Diego Zoo. However, at 133 acres, it is 33 acres larger. However, there are only about 1,400 animals residing at the Los Angeles Zoo. After walking the whole zoo yesterday, I would guess that about 70 acres is simply unused land. Jim and I always are tired after a trip to the San Diego Zoo. We didn’t experience that after walking the Los Angeles Zoo.

Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical GardenI was disappointed in the zoo but I might be unreasonably comparing it to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. The L.A. Zoo was quite busy yesterday. However, it needs a serious cleaning, including a parking lot renovation. The asphalt probably is the original asphalt from when the zoo opened in 1966. The whole place was overgrown with weeds. Deciduous trees had dropped all their leaves; unfortunately, all over the exhibits, making a mess of them, making a mess of any horticultural exhibits beneath the trees, making a mess of the various play areas for children.

Notwithstanding all the problems, there were several things that made the visit worthwhile:

      1. I now have been to the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Garden.
      2. The birds show was excellent because it featured birds that you won’t be seeing in your back yard: two African vultures (huge birds!) and a California Condor (another huge bird!)
      3. Although many of the botanical gardens were weedy and covered with leaves, I did get enough good pictures for my book.
      4. The giraffe feeding line was very long, and having fed the giraffes at the San Diego Zoo, I can tell you that feeding giraffes is quite an experience. This final picture shows a little girl feeding a giraffe. I believe this little girl will grow up with an appreciation of wildlife—my appreciation of wildlife started by feeding a monkey. Perhaps this little girl will get a college degree in wildlife conservation, maybe even work in a zoo providing this type of experience to the next generation.

Feeding a giraffe at the Los Angeles Zoo

All pictures in this post were taken by me
at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Garden
on December 29, 2019.

Are you happy?


Today is the most important day on the cat calendar. Happy Boxing Day!

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat in her new box

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat, Olympic boxing champion

I believe Little Queen Olivia is the world’s only cat that does not like boxes. In the six months she has lived here, I caught her in a box only once, and then for only a few seconds, just long enough for me to take a picture. She seems to be saying, “See! I am a cat! Are you happy?”

Little Queen Olivia

Will always miss Zoey the Cool Cat


On June 23, 2019, at 6:35 p.m., I was holding Zoey the Cool Cat in my arms at the vet’s office. She let out a final little snort as her head nestled into the crook of my arm and she started her journey over the Rainbow Bridge.

Will always miss the Cool Cat. She brought so much joy and laughter into my life with my husband, Jim.

Following are ten of my favorite pictures of her. The first was taken about three hours after we had brought her home from the El Cajon Animal Shelter on September 21, 2007. Her name was Zoey, but I added “the Cool Cat” after taking the picture. I think she had decided to stay in our home.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat on a pedastal

Zoey the Cool Cat stamp

Zoey the Cool Cat stalking a mourning dove

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying her catio

Zoey the Cool Cat, Olympic boxing champion

Merry Christmas!

Zoey the Cool Cat

If you are new to my blog
and would like to know more about
Zoey the Cool Cat,
here are all my blog posts featuring her.
Here are my three posts about her final days,

How does she do this?


I think cats are fascinating animals.

The following picture is of Little Queen Olivia sound asleep on an office chair.

Little Queen Olivia peacefully sleeping

With her so peacefully sleeping, I decide to go to the kitchen to get something to eat.

The kitchen is 25 feet away. It takes 9.31415 seconds to get there from the office.

This is what I see when I get to the kitchen:

Little Queen Olivia in the kitchen

How does she do this?

Little Queen Olivia spoke to me, and I listened!

Follow the assembly directionsLittle Queen Olivia

I blame myself for having to let Zoey the Cool Cat go on June 23, 2019, because I didn’t understand how pets talk to us.

Well, yesterday morning, Little Queen Olivia was sneezing every 15 minutes. Not just one sneeze. Several in a row. House-shaking sneezes.

Finally, at 4:00 a.m., it occurred to me that she was trying to tell me something.

I got dressed, put her in the carrier, and headed to the 24/7 vet hospital. Sure enough, she’s a sick Little Queen.

Looks like a cold at this point because her temperature is not elevated, she’s eating well, she’s eliminating well, and she’s active and playful. Just sneezing and watery eyes.

The drive to the vet was the first time in the six months she has been with us that I ever have heard her meow. Usually it’s just squeaks and squeals. Since it’s an 18-minute drive to the vet, and she meowed every 5 seconds, it also was the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th …………… 214th, 215th, 216th times I have heard her meow.

Here she is in her carrier at the vet at 4:30 a.m.:

Little Queen Olivia at the vet

The vet said to buy some Little Noses and Chlorpheniramine 4 mg tablets (cut in half), available at CVS across the street.

“Both are over-the-counter for humans,” as he told me, but will be fine for a 2-year-old cat.

Easily got the nasal spray in her nose but she fought me tooth & nail (secret code for “biting and scratching”) for 5 minutes before I got half a tablet down her. After I posted on Facebook, one person recommended “Pill Pockets.” I immediately rushed out to buy a pack. Didn’t fool the Little Queen. She looked at it and turned up her nose. Eventually I mixed the pill pocket in with her wet food and she snarfed it down. So all’s well.

I put her on my bed around 11:30 and she did not sneeze once, happily sleeping for 4½ hours.

Little Queen Olivia sleeping peacefully

Little Queen Olivia sleeping peacefully

Will monitor her closely to make sure that she doesn’t have anything more serious.