June 4, 2015

Settling in

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Faith, Just Life tagged , , at 8:05 am by catsinboxes

He’s curled on the bookshelf by the window —napping and feigning oblivion. It’s a sham. I know he’ll be up soon: bustling into the bedroom if I spend too long in there before returning to the living room. Or, he’ll start patrolling the apartment: pacing from room to room and vociferously complaining when I don’t let him out or refuse to fling open a window to give him a better view.

Oliver. The cat I didn’t want. God certainly has a sense of humor. This cat has more personality in the tip of his tail then some cats in the entire sum of their lives.


“I think he has some Oriental Shorthair in him; he has that look.” —Says Mary, our regular mail carrier and a fellow cat lover.

So, while he was in rare form one day, I looked up “Oriental Shorthair” and read their personality.

The Oriental has a . . . colorful personality. They are closely linked to the people they claim as their own and desperately want to share their lives with you. In the busiest moments, your Oriental will find a way to interrupt your activities.

They usually bond with one person and become extremely devoted and dependent upon their chosen human. Expect them to be at your side, in your lap, and at the door to interrogate you about where you’ve been.  (Cat Fancier’s Association &  Petfinder Breed Profile)

This explains so much, and it’s Oliver to a T.

And I didn’t want a cat . . . hah! God knew better.



January 5, 2015

Another Year

Posted in Cats, Just Life tagged at 10:14 am by catsinboxes


And cats are still in boxes!

May 20, 2013

Things I Love –and Don’t Love– About Mornings

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Faith, Humor, Just Life at 11:24 am by catsinboxes

Mist in the Morning

Mist in the Morning

Definitely a LOVE here.  It might be the hundreth time, but mist always makes me happy!

The green that follows rain

Green Leaves

It stormed last night, so this morning there is a freshness and greenness everywhere that only follows rain.  And besides all the poetic, natural beauty, there is also the little things to love.

  • Bright-eyed children up at 6:15 and ready to go hunt for bugs
  • A happy golden retriever who’s still dozing & then comes wagging up to greet you
  • Encouraging comment from a FB friend concerning my writing; thank you, Cindy!
  • Birds singing outside (okay, poetic and natural, but whatever, it’s a little thing that I love!)
  • Hungry cats chirruping and petitioning to be fed
  • Happy children –also hungry– back inside to eat and read

What I don’t love:

  • Not being awake until my morning coffee kicks in
  • Being uber-auditory during Bible time:  “STOP shuffling those books in the other room, this instant for my sanity’s sake!!!”
And that’s about it because I really do like mornings, I do!  Even when I’m reading my Bible, and I get to the part in Leviticus 1 where it says –concerning dove and pigeon offerings–
“Bring it to the altar and wing off it’s neck . . .”
I stopped, interested, with a sudden vision of Aaron, dressed in all they made at the end of Exodus, energetically doing-in a pigeon or dove.  Oh, it said “wring off.”  Nevermind . . . I need to finish that cup of coffee.
I love my morning coffee!

I love my morning coffee!

And I love morning blogging, especially with the help of some tea and bagels with Biscoff.
Oh, and I love Twitter, too!

I love Twitter, too!

May 16, 2013

C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien on Hobbits, Wizards, and Invisible Cats

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Faith, Favorite Quotes, Humor tagged , , , at 8:08 pm by catsinboxes

As an admitted C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien buff, this post is definitely an indulgence.  Still, I know there’s a lot of us out there, so I hope some of you fellow Lewis and Tolkien lovers enjoy it, too!

Light and trees

If you take nature as a teacher she will teach you exactly the lessons you had already decided to learn; this is only another way of saying that nature does not teach. . . . Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty.  I had to learn that in other ways.  But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me.

In any mind which has a pennyworth of imagination it produces a good attitude towards foreigners.  How can I love my home without coming to realise that other men, no less rightly, love theirs?

Image of a stack of books

The truly wide taste in reading is that which enables a man to find something for his needs on the sixpenny tray outside any secondhand bookshop.  The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day.



A belief in invisible cats cannot perhaps be logically disproved, but it tells us a good deal about those who hold it.  Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend.




Wizards after all are wizards.




And what would you do, if an uninvited dwarf came and hung his things up in your hall without a word of explanation?

John Howe, Bagend

He had a horrible thought that the cakes might run short, and then he –as host he knew his duty and stuck to it however painful– he might have to go without.

Goodbye then, and really good-bye!” said Gandalf, and he turned his horse and rode down into the West.  But he could not resist the temptation to have the last word.  Before he had passed quite out of hearing he turned and put his hands to his mouth and called to them.  They heard his voice come faintly:  “Good-bye!  Be good, take care of yourselves –and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!”

March 16, 2013

Ukraine Update

Posted in Adoption, Blogging, Cats, Ukraine at 11:32 am by catsinboxes

After a busy morning and early afternoon, I’m back in our apartment and have some time to catch up and write a blog post.

The main train station in Kiev was so neat; it has gorgeous architecture.

This is my third full day in Ukraine.  Wednesday evening, I arrived in Kiev.  From Kiev, I took a an overnight train to our city.  Apparently the Germans bombed Kiev’s original train station during WWII, so the current station is post-war era.

I really enjoyed the train.  Amanda, who I’m helping, likened it to the Hogwarts Express, and I agree with her!  I had my own compartment with a door and a lock.  Inside there was a little table coming out from the wall and two seats/beds.  They were pretty narrow, but after all of my traveling, I was ready to sleep on anything!

After a good -though intermittent- night’s sleep (I think I woke up every time the train stopped at a station!), I got up in time to be ready to step off the train when it got to my station.  I did, and shortly thereafter was at the apartment settling in, unpacking, and getting ready for the rest of the day.

I passed this church on the way to the apartment.

Rather than continue to detail a step by step chronology of the past few days, I’m going to share some pictures and initial impressions of Ukraine.

The buildings:

A lot of the apartments are soviet era, so they look very much alike: same architecture, same playgrounds.

All very utilitarian.

This pack of dogs lives near our apartment.

The animals: there are a lot of dogs that are practically feral, but they are not afraid of people, they just roam the streets.  Some get scraps from the old ladies who have little stalls along the sidewalk.  Amanda and I are dog lovers, so if we can, we will stop to pet any dog, or cat.  I know it’s a pretty obvious sign that we’re crazy foreigners, but we don’t care!

We befriended this cat on our walk this morning.

The people:

Typically, Ukrainians don’t smile at a stranger.  I didn’t realize until now how culturally I’m programmed to smile and nod at anyone I pass!  This is such an interesting culture that is quite different from our own.  I love seeing the different sides of Ukrainian culture the longer that I am here.   It’s neat to watch children in any culture, and I’ve loved observing the families here.  You can tell that family is very important, and that children are loved.  At the same time, it is so sad to know that there are over a hundred thousand children in this country who do not have families to call their own.  I’m very glad that I can be here to help with two little girls who are orphans no more!

Spending time with Vika and Lena

February 18, 2013

Happy Cat

Posted in Cats, Humor, Just Life at 9:18 am by catsinboxes

Enough said!

Enough said!

April 5, 2012


Posted in Blogging, Cats, Humor, Just Life tagged , at 10:27 pm by catsinboxes

I’m trying to be more consistent blogging, I really am.  The only problem is that, with my eclectic blog, I find myself wondering just what I should write about.  I don’t want to dive into a dystopian book review; I’ll save that for a day when my brain isn’t running on steam.  But, when in doubt, I feel it wise to return to the namesake for my blog . . . Cats.

I love cats.  I love cats because you can’t expect a cat to be obedient.

"Just try and make me listen!"

I love cats because of their rebel spirits; they will sit on the table or, better yet, on any clean laundry they can find.  I love their innate ability to differentiate between cat lovers and cat haters, and how they will love on the cat haters.  Even my cat, my grouchy cat who hates the world in general and children in particular, will turn into a purring sweetheart in the presence of a cat hater.  They just seem to know . . . .

"Would yah quit talking and just feed me???"

And, I love their attraction to boxes.  Hey, that’s how this blog got its name!

~At this point there is no comment . . . Grooming is a very absorbing occupation.

January 25, 2012

A Puppy’s Perspective

Posted in Cats, Humor, Just Life tagged , , at 8:08 pm by catsinboxes


“Toby!” I do my best to sound reproachful. No movement. I try again,

“Toby!!” This time more emphasis and more reproach. Two dark eyes stare innocently at me.

“Toby; you get down right now!” I’m starting to get a reaction. He starts to move, just a little bit. I play hardball.

“You know what Mommy says!” Maybe it’s my imagination, but this tact works. He uncurls and hops off the couch. Then he sashays up to me, tail wagging apologetically, giving me his I-know-I’ve-been-naughty squinty eyes. I can’t help it, I pet him, but still scold.

We’ve had an audience the whole time. Two cats in the midst of their morning nap on the other couch. Duncan slumbers on, ignoring the disturbance, but Kitty-Kitty, ever the social one, is stretching and trying to attract my attention. I can imagine Toby’s thought process. I don’t know what your problem is, look at them! They sleep on the couch all the time! They even sleep on Mommy’s bed. Why can’t I take a nap on the couch now and then, huh? It’s just not fair. I think you like them better . . .

I answer Toby’s thoughts out loud,

“I know it’s not fair, but if we wanted to keep cats off of furniture, they would have to live outside.” And it’s true. Cats are simply cats, and that’s just what we expect. Dogs are supposed to be loyal and obedient and subservient to man. Cats? There’s a reason that Rudyard Kipling wrote in his Just So stories about “The Cat Who Walked by Himself.” It’s just the way they are, and I love them for it!


January 16, 2012

A Big Cat in a Little Box!

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Humor, Just Life, Uncategorized tagged , at 5:36 pm by catsinboxes