Monday, January 31, 2011

Cat encounters from Hafnarfjörður to Harlem

A very special friend of mine, Amy Borkwood, has been everywhere from here to Zaire.

God bless her little soul, she's captured some beautiful moments for us, my readers!

In 2010 our Amy traveled to the most beautiful country of Iceland.  While I don't usually post non-kitty pics, I am including these gorgeous landscape pictures of Iceland that Amy took, so you can get an idea of the typical Icelandic kittens natural habitat.

Some places where cat ladies of Iceland live.
Glacier carved mountains / sheep trails.

there are cities with buildings out of children's books / where people settle, there are guardians to protect them.  This one is determined to receive love from the comely traveler.

Mission accomplished /  Oh, who is this?
A slumberous casper cat pads towards her / a beacon on the grassy knoll is accessorized in red string.
Lean into it / jerk smirkin' kitty cat. 

If the cats of Iceland are made of cotton wool, sea glass and an implicit faith in a dream like nether-world filled with faeries and elves, then the cats of New York City are made of coffee, cinder blocks and an impending sense of dread about their own mortality.  But they're equally as cute!

It's a New York state of mind for this contemplative New York City Kitty. 
But even when you're a sophisticated urban cat, sometimes you still gotta roll on the pavement.
Thanks so much, Amy, for sharing these with us, and thank you to kit-loving model Georgia Webber for making the last shot possible.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feline Focus Part 1, an Interview with Audrey

Cat Lady of Parkdale (CLoP): Hi Audrey, and thank you for being the first kitty to take part in the Cats of Parkdale Feline Focus.  A series where we dig deep to get an inside look at the lives, loves and longings of some of the most beautiful and fascinating cats on the planet.  Welcome to Feline Focus

"Who, me?"

Audrey (A): Thank you, Cat Lady of Parkdale, and may I say, Waterloo just isn't the same without you.  My dear mothers Schmalz and the many members of my chosen family miss your drunken presence. 

Mother Linsday
Mama Hayley
Aunt Paris
Cousin Phil

Unky Sean
Pastor Jeremy
CLoP:  That means a lot coming from you Audrey, since I know you have your paw on the pulse of the Waterloo social scene, and that you would never say it if it wasn't deeply, deeply true. Now I'm just going to dive right in to the really heavy-hitting issues.  Tell me about it all from the beginning. Tell me the Audrey journey.

A: Well, like anyone's childhood, mine had its ups and downs. Yes, I have a great family, but people think that just because I was blessed with perfect looks that it's all been smooth sailing for me. Actually, I've had some hard knocks.  Luckily the rough times have only made me stronger and the only one who can judge me is above me (unfortunately that proverb doesn't really work in my case since everybody's above me, but you know what I mean.)

"Being so small in a big world is frightening"
"Sometimes you feel as though you're at the end of your tether"

"so often you are infantilized"

"There were definitely some big traumas..." 

"After I lost my brother things got really dark"
"I dabbled in drugs..."
"I was exhausted"  

"the paparazzi caught some moments that I'd rather forget"
"I lashed out at the kitties who care about me most"
"But living life in the fast lane eventually catches up to you."
"I took time to do a lot of soul searching - to learn how to live my truth."
"I came out of the closet, into the light, and onto some shelves."
CLoP: Wow Audrey, thank you so much for sharing those harrowing memories with us all.  For some reason your story really resonates with me personally.  What is your life like these days? 

"Well I learned that there's no shame in accepting a helping hand once in a while"
"I've learned to give and receive love."

"I discovered joy in the world!"

"I began exploring the world around me, while still staying safe"
"I even got my own place! Hello independence day."
"I was ready to go out there and take on the world!" 
"Now I'm the CEO of my own company!" 
"My motto is: work hard..."
"... play hard!" 
CLoP: Wow Audrey, I can't thank you enough for that story of redemption and the triumph of the feline spirit!  You are an inspiration to all of us!  Now, do you mind if I scratch your tum?

A: DO I???!!!!??? (rolls over). 

(editors note: Dear Lindsay and Hayley, thank you for letting me project my issues onto your adorable kitty.  I don't really think she was traumatized.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

child cat

a drawing of a cat I did at age seven (1989, if you must know).

Already you can see my appreciation of the weirder kitties. 
Thanks to Mama for finding this and sending it to me. 

International Superstars

The Cat Lady of Parkdale rarely leaves Parkdale.  That's why it's lucky that my beautiful friends are world-class travellers and are good enough to share their international cat experiences with me, and therefore with you, dear reader.

Kerry Freek, one such beautiful friend and Co-Creator/Co-Editor of the New Yorker of Canadian Web Mags, Mondo Magazine, travelled to Serbia and Isreal in the Summer and Fall of 2009.

Dear reader, do take care to have your smelling salts at hand as these Cat Gods are truly swoon-worthy. 

"A curious guardian of graves wandered up to me in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. Holy holy holy."

"This panting kitty in the blazing hot streets of Tel Aviv reminded me of a mythic god in feline form. 
Just look at that regal face."

"The tiniest, hungriest cats in Serbia hung out at Palić Lake. We fed some schnitzel to this guy and his friend -- they gobbled it up like they hadn't seen food in days. We were rewarded with very appreciative purrs and cuddles."

"Sleeping kitten high up on a wall in the Jevremovac Arboretum, Belgrade."
Thank you Kerry, for sharing your beautiful words and pictures.  These pictures made me so glad to be alive.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

More human than humans.

Shortly before xxxmas 2010, I won the cat-sitting jackpot and got to stay in an expansive luxury art-deco bachelorette pad in the heart of Parkdale with two beautiful, intellectually special cats.  Thank you to my co-worker Samm for letting me step inside her beautiful life for a week when she retired to Florida. 

Finn, Taz and I had a really nice time together.  I, doing my paint by numbers, (of course of a kit thru the window) and Finn intermittently meowling for more food and deeply sleeping in a fluffy warm pile of purring in a basket at the end of my adopted bed.

"Me want foooood and looooove!"

hahaha I put out sooo many bowls for them because I was always worried they would starve or thirst!  At one point there were eight bowls for two kitties!

The other kitten, the shy, graceful, silvery lilac petite bon bon with the big sea-green eyes enchanted me at once.  I felt her name, Taz, didn't suit her, and thought she should have some more dignified name, such as Grace or Mary. Then she warmed up to me.  Once she started getting pats from me, she couldn't get enough, and entered a drooling, purring, head-butting love frenzy.  She started sleeping in the bed with me at night, and would unexpectedly awake with a start and jump down to attack my slippers, then streak around the apartment like a bat out of hell.  I guess she is a little bit of a Spazmanian Devil - but she sure looks like a beautiful little ballerina. I guess looks can be decieving.

Taz with my troublesome slippers in a headlock.  The right one looks down for the count.

I love you Taz and Finn!  I'll never forget our time together.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Cat of Roncesvalles

‎"good evening my good people, and welcome to cat chat. i'll be your host, spooticus rex. sit down, crack a room temperature can of meat and enjoy your journey into the placid life of a spoiled housecat"..

- Bridey Foxglove and Spoot.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Design!

Check out the new design for Cats of Parkdale! 

It is strongly inspired by Parkdale.  Another great thing about Parkdale is all the great Tibetans! Best people I've ever met.  I wish I could have their values.

Check out this baby Tibetan holding a kitty! 


God bless my amazing boss, Cindy, for sending me the following story about the first gay cat wedding!!!  It hits all the bases of things I am into!  If only it was taking place in Parkdale.

"Next Thursday night at Ollie's Place, a no-kill cat shelter in NYC, Bruno and Solomon will join in holy catrimony, making them the first known married gay feline couple."

"They were both brought into the shelter from the streets of Coney Island at about the same time and they immediately bonded. Bruno, the grey cat with a big rack, is shy and a little demure. Solomon, the Creamiscle cat, is more of an alpha male (aka the top) and protects Bruno from the big scary world out there."

Thanks for the great journalism, DListed!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I just found out the most amazing thing in the world today.  My dream job is available, just as my contract to my first dream job is ending, and I am totally qualified.  Please let me get it!

In the words of Jessie Spanno "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so... scared!"

Monday, January 17, 2011

THE Cat of Parkdale

I remember clearly the night that I first conceptualized this blog.  I had just moved to Toronto, I was heartbroken, unemployed and confused.  I didn't have a lot of friends here yet, so I used to spend a lot of time walking the streets at night, exploring my new home of Parkdale.  I walked all over the neighbourhood, trying to figure things out.  One night, I walked up Gladstone Avenue where it (used to) meet Dufferin, and I came across this cat sitting outside this ramshackle house reminiscent of my elementary school portables. 

As I walked up to him he jumped up on the recycling bin (on the right) and asked for pats.  We had a little love sesh and I felt so infinitely comforted and welcomed to the city. He connected me to my cats at home and all the cats I have had, known and loved in my life.

I didn't have a camera to capture the moment, but I saw what an integral, equalizing role animals fulfill in a city.  Being near animals - cats, dogs, squirrels, pigeons - makes me feel more human and connects me to my inner animal.   

That was about a year ago and I was lucky enough to come across a picture of this fellow on my new friend Lillith's facebook.  How many other people do I know who have had a moment with this same cat?  His sweet trust somehow connects us all in this big cold city.  I wanted to document this phenomenon in some way. As I've gained friends here, I was able to do so through their generous support of my blog and sharing of their cat pictures.  I will always think of this cat as THE cat of Parkdale.  Cat connections forever. Love Ellie.

Thanks to Lillith Ze Davil for the picture.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best shocked cat video of 2011!

 This is one of the best cat videos i've seen in a really long time.  Something about the grainy footage and that face that looks like it could have been drawn by Henry Darger makes me feel like it's a cat owned by a British school girl in the 60s. Kitty's face is so cartoonish but also somehow so human when he gets surprised.  I love the intensity of the grass eating, and then also the SHOCK reaction, to what was probably just a squirrel or a bird.  It's a must-see.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Screw you, Internet.

Because of your foul indoctrination, you base internet, you, I can only think of Wilford Brimley memes when I see this beautiful, dignified Cat of Parkdale.  For shame.

"ask me about my diabeetus"
"leave me be to eat my damn oatmeal"
I bet Brimley doesn't have a lustrous tri-coloured pelt like this so infinitely more beautiful creature... I hope not!