Baby Animals and Lion Hugs

It’s raining baby animals at the animal shelter where I volunteer and I can’t stand it! I’ll start with the most exciting baby animal:

Baby guinea pig










Yep, a baby guinea pig. Apparently called a pup. My brother and I had a guinea pig named Patches when we were kids. Unfortunately, I have a feeling she was not long for the world under our care. Mom, do you remember?











According to this website, baby rabbits are called kittens? Whaaa… We also had a rabbit, named Bunny, who either froze to death in her outdoor hutch or Grandma left her hutch door open so she escaped. Mom and I remember different final chapters of Bunny’s life.

THESE are kittens.
THESE are kittens.










Kittens! So cute, but so much work. We had two kittens while growing up, Tiger (whom we immediately started calling Kitty after we named him Tiger) and Kiwi. I don’t remember all of the work, probably because Mom was doing all of it.

THESE are pups.
THESE are pups.










There are three or four other pups hiding in the back there. So adorable. Well, I seem to have turned this post into a history of my childhood pets, so might as well mention Pooka. I didn’t know her when she was a pup. She was middle-aged by the time I was old enough to understand what a dog was. She was cute, but I don’t remember playing with her much. All I recall is her limping around the house and peeing on the living room rug a lot.

Soooo…while we are on the topic of animals, let’s look at some videos of lions hugging people. Just because I am obsessed with the story of Christian the Lion.  If you haven’t seen the viral video of Christian the Lion, grab some tissues. Every time I watch this video, I practically break down in sobs.

Recently, a friend showed me this video of a lion hugging a woman who rescued him and nursed him back to health.

And then I came across this lion whisperer chap, Kevin Richardson:

Isn’t it incredible to watch these huge predators return the love they received from these humans? You needed the tissues, right??


A Balmy Afternoon


The definition of balmy, according to Merriam-Webster:

a :  having the qualities of balm :  soothing

b :  mild  <balmy weather>

I wish it were b the other afternoon, but I settled for a.
Mary and I made lip balm (#17 on the birthday list). It was easy-peasy because I ordered a kit online at I’m working my way through all of its products: I’ve bought its perfume, lotion, and soap kits for previous birthday lists.
All we had to do was melt the lip balm “base” and then add color and flavoring.







Cute, huh?

Tomorrow night, I’ll be trying a new restaurant. Every March, Boston has a “restaurant week,” in which a number of restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus for a discounted price. This is one of two or three times a year that I treat myself to a three-course meal!

T minus five days until I’m on a jet plane to my first home away from home…

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things


I returned to the MSPCA to find kittens galore.
























I also found degus, one of which who gnawed on my finger.

I opened my mailbox today to find a job advertisement for the Wegmans store that will be opening a mere two miles from my apartment next spring.














Is it spring yet?


I’m currently listening to the Sonny Rollins CD I bought over the weekend. #18 on the birthday list. Most of the jazz CDs I own are of the jazz pianist variety, so listening to a jazz saxophonist is a fun change-up. Sonny is playing in Boston this fall, so I hope to see him perform live.



State of Love and Trust


I was at the adoption center this morning, and spent time with a couple of cats who got me thinking about the concepts of love and trust. Most cats enjoy being petted and lovingly scratched. But there are some who LOVE being petted and return the affection with such fervor and abandon.

As I was petting two cats who LOVE being petted, I was struck by how trusting they were. We had never laid eyes on each other before, yet they were so happy and thankful that I was showing them some affection. They would have let me pet them for hours.

And that made me think of my cat, Olive. She’s been with me for 12 years and she doesn’t trust me. She isn’t capable for whatever reason. I know she loves me. Every night she sidles up to me and purrs away as I fall asleep. She does let me pet her for a few minutes at a time, which she didn’t allow when she was younger. So there has been improvement. My theory is she was either separated from her parents too early or she was abused. I wish I knew what happened to her. [My brother found her in a grocery store parking lot.]

Olive reminds me that you can love people but not trust them. You can love a parent or a sibling or a significant other, but not trust him or her…because of abuse or lying or cheating. I think both people and animals start out as trusting creatures. Some hold on to that trust because they have no reason not to mistrust. Others have their trust shattered in some way and they are never the same.

All of this contemplation brought to mind the great Pearl Jam song “State of Love and Trust.” Which then reminded me of the movie Singles. Which then reminded me that I am old. How can this movie be 20 years old???

Fisherman’s Feast


I finally made it to the Fisherman’s Feast in Boston’s Italian neighborhood. I met Abby and Rachael around dinnertime and we took it all in. Even though I’m only 25% Italian, I always feel “at home” around Italian people. And of course, Italian is my favorite type of food. Abby and I decided to try the “rice balls.” I had never had a rice ball. It weighed about 5 pounds. And felt like 10 pounds in my stomach. But it was SO GOOD.

Marching band in the street











We headed to a quiet side street for some dessert. I’ve decided I need to kidnap my mother so she can see some of Italy. She has England on the brain! A one-track mind when it comes to travel. I can’t really blame her though.

To cap off the lovely evening, I returned to my neighborhood to see the most stunning sunset.










It was breathtaking.












And lastly, in totally unrelated news. My new obsession is blind cats. I met my first blind cat yesterday at the MSPCA. She is a kitten and she is so affectionate and just plain amazing. If I lived in a bigger apartment, Olive would be welcoming this blind of bundle of love to our homestead. I had to learn more about blind cats, and found out about the famous blind cat Oskar and his friend Klaus.

There is a blind cat rescue in North Carolina. If I ever win the lottery, I will send this place a nice check. Unfortunately this will probably never happen as I play the lottery about once every four years…