Ready to Go Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Last week, I posted about Buying Gun-Hee a coat so I can take him out in Boston’s winters. Well, today, Gun-Hee’s parka came in the mail. I am very impressed with how well made it is. It’s a miniature parka, just like we would wear, but with no pockets and velcro instead of a zipper to close it up. The hood snaps off, and it has a drawstring to close it up against the wind.

But, even more telling, when I tried it on Gun-Hee today…he started purring.

Gun-Hee models his new parka…

“I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday.”

Even though it’s only mid-August, there’s been a faint chill in the Boston air recently that whispers of what’s to come. As hot and as humid as it can be here, it’s only temorary, fleeting…soon enough, Fenway will close its doors again, the sun will set at 4pm, rings will appear around the moon, and snow and ice will clog the city’s arteries.

In the midst of all this putting on a pair of sandals while thinking of snow boots in the back of my head, I thought of Gun-Hee and how much he enjoys going out on adventures. In the summer, it’s easy. But I hate for him to have to give them up in winter. Some days, while cold, are still quite fine, and he can always ride the T…

But he’s a very shorthaired shorthair, and he feels the cold quite easily. So…I looked around a bit, and ended up ordering him this for $10.99 on (it was the last one in a size Small). It’s his colour, and it has a hood to keep his ears warm…Of course, I have no idea whether or not he’ll actually wear the thing, but for $11 it’s worth a shot…and somehow, something tells me he just might put up with it, if it means he gets to go out in his carrier once in a while…

What’s wrong, boy? Did Tessie fall down a well?!

I was in the shower last night, so I missed this, but as soon as I came out my husband crowed that he had “the best Gun-Hee story ever!”

My husband had been changing the water filter in the refrigerator, and Gun-Hee was helping, as usual. But as he was finishing, Gun-Hee began to frantically scratch at the underneath of the kitchen cabinet next to the cats’ feeder. My husband, who thought maybe he was after a toy or something, told him to stop, picked him up, and took him out of the kitchen. Gun-Hee came right back, though, and continued his attack on the cabinet. He was lying on his back, and he was even biting the wood! My husband couldn’t figure it out; there’s nothing in that cabinet that’s of any interest to cats. Their extra dry food and cans are stored in different cabinets. My husband looked all around and could find nothing to explain Gun-Hee’s obsession with the cabinet. He yelled at Gun-Hee to knock it off and evicted him from the kitchen again.

Of course, Gun-Hee came right back. Abys are known to be determined, but this was above and beyond the typical Abyssinian perseverence! Finally, he said, “Okay, all right: look. There is nothing in there. See?” And he opened the cabinet to show Gun-Hee there was nothing inside to warrant his frantic campaign…

And there was Tessie, shut up in the cabinet. My husband had needed a little vegetable oil to lubricate the gasket on the new water filter, and when he went to get it, Tessie evidently snuck inside without being noticed. But Gun-Hee knew she was in there, and he wasn’t going to rest until she was out again!

Such a brave little cat!

I managed to recreate the scene tonight…

(Recreation was done by shutting a treat in the cupboard…not Tessie!)

Bless the Beasts and the Children

On our walk on Saturday, Gun-Hee and I met a little girl named Shelby and her mother in the Binford Street Park. They were just leaving as we arrived, but Shelby said hello to Gun-Hee and asked to pet him.

On Sunday, as I was taking the photos of Gun-Hee in the heather, I heard a young girl cry, “Oh, look! That kitty’s here again!”
She petted Gun-Hee some more, and then my husband gave her the sparkly wand toy that he’d brought along with us for Gun-Hee to play with. The pair of them had a pretty good time playing with it

It’s hard to say, actually, who had the better time…

You can’t exactly tell from the photos, but Gun-Hee was playing, too, and seemed to enjoy it.

I dub thee…Sir Gun-Hee..!

This started out as Shelby shaking hands with Gun-Hee, but ended up as sort of a hug…I was so proud of him, though. He’s so patient and tolerant with little kids, and he really has no right or reason to be, never having been exposed to them before. He’s just that good natured. It’s this quality more than any other that makes me think he might be a good therapy animal. I could totally see him visiting the cancer kids at Dana Farber (the ones you always see during Red Sox games)…I think he’d be good at it, and I think it would be enjoyable for both sides. I’m looking into it, getting trained, but I really wonder about “co-ed” classes since Gun-Hee is so anti-canine. I also haven’t found any in Boston that I can get to without a car…but he’s young. There’s time.

“Nothing but heather!” — How marvellously descriptive! And incomplete!

I love how the plantings at the Binford Street Park change with the seasons. In the spring it was first crocuses, then tulips and daffodils. Now, it’s heather. Gun-Hee posed nicely in its midst, watching the bees on a lazy Sunday afternoon…

All around the purple heather, will ye go, Laddie, go?

Someone’s in the kitchen with Coco

For breakfast on Sunday morning, I made Japanese-style scrambled eggs with beef. I turned around to close the refrigerator door, and when I turned around I discovered I’d acquired a sous-chef.

Everybody’s a critic…

Boston, you’re his home

Gun-Hee is the very epitome of an urban cat.


I actually Photoshopped his leash and harness out of these photos. Worked really well: I can’t tell…


Heading towards Gillette, the World Shaving Headquarters.

A long walk for a small cat

Both Saturday and Sunday, I took Gun-Hee out for walks on the Harborwalk. Saturday, we went to the post office on Dorchester to mail something, so he rode in his carrier the whole way there. He was so anxious to walk, though, that as soon as we’d crossed back over the Summer Street Bridge and gone through the building passthru, I let him down to walk. He insisted on walking the entire way – about .68 of a mile!

Come ON, Mom, let’s GO!

When being silly turns ugly…

The things Gun-Hee does, even after all this time, crack me the hell up. Yesterday morning, he decided he needed to crawl underneath the hallway carpet…

And then Tessie went and walked on his head…

Every single holiday, Gun-Hee in a box

We got a new coffeemaker. This is what happened to the box it came in…

Gun-Hee in a box!

Someone else is doing it!

In this month’s Boston Magazine, the Fashion Masochist takes her kitty out on the town in Boston!

How come that article isn’t about Gun-Hee!?

Something I thought of today

Gun-Hee is such a great cat. I mean, I don’t just say that because he’s mine…but he is so affable and good natured. Every morning, I give him an L-Lysine pill, and then comb out his chin acne, scrub his chin with hydrogen peroxide, and put benzoyl peroxide on it. Then in the evening, he gets the whole chin routine again, but with Bacitracin. And I always do it in the bathroom, and you know he KNOWS what’s going to happen…but he never really tries to hide. And it’s always me that does it (My husband doesn’t know how, and I’ve been handling cats for 40 years) to him, all this grooming, bathing, medicating, claw-clipping…yet, he always comes when I call him, he’s always happy and purring, he always wants to be where I am. He never sulks, never holds a grudge…he’s amazing.

And he’s always happy to see me, too. I came home today, and I was reading a book, so I sat down on the sofa to finish the chapter. And Gun-Hee curls up on the back of the sofa, behind my head, purring and touching my hair with his paws.

He’s just a wonderful, wonderful cat.

Gun-Hee’s Day in Boston

I didn’t take my camera along, so I have only words with which to illustrate it. But Gun-Hee and I took a long walk through a good part of Boston this afternoon.

We started at the former Broadway (now Jim Kelly) Bridge, and the first thing we saw was a man riding his bike. He was wearing a front carrier like Gun-Hee’s, and riding along with him was a Whippet. I laughed and waved at him, and he grinned and nodded in reponse. After crossing the bridge, we walked to Spoochies, a pet boutique at Tremont and where Arlington turns into Herald. We shopped a bit, then got a drink at the CVS next door, and continued on to Back Bay. We walked along Newbury Street for a bit (I wanted to look into the bead shop, on tax-free day), and then moved over to Comm Ave., where Gun-Hee stalked some sparrows, much to my amusement.

We worked our way up to the Boston Public Garden (where Gun-Hee stalked Canadian Geese) and then Boston Common. We spent a good deal of time here, chasing squirrels and birds. Then we went to Filene’s Basement before walking home on the Fort Point Channel part of the Boston Harborwalk. This is probably Gun-Hee’s favourite part; he’s so familiar with it and at home on it, he walks most of the way on it under his own power.

We left at 3:30, and got back home at 7. It was a great day out, and a part of me wishes I’d had my camera. The other part, though, is somewhat glad I didn’t, because I would have been too occupied with capturing the day I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it.
But here’s a map showing where we walked…

Gun-Hee’s my star!

I got Gun-Hee’s star tags back from Brad the Engraver. They are wonderful!

And on the back…

The backside was engraved by a company out in Western Mass, Rossi Pet Tags. They’re wicked cheap – $3.99 a tag with free shipping! – and they have 60 different fonts and several little graphics that can be added to the tag. They’re anodized aluminum tags, and they come in several different colours and shapes. Easily the best tags I’ve found yet…I use engraved tags for everything, too: luggage tags, ID tags for cameras, jump drives, computer bags…I’m sure I’ll be ordering more. Especially since they tell me they’ll soon be able to do Korean characters…

Putting the birthdate on the back of the tag is a bit of a tradition. I had sterling silver tags made for Harri, Sigrid and Patrick made over 10 years ago with their names and a jewel in the front, and their birthdates on the back; since I had two lines, I figured I might as well continue the tradition.

All of the cats have three tags: The name/address/phone number tag (which is on a separate tag in case the info changes), closest to the chest, with the wording facing in; then the Rabies tag, which, despite when they got the shot is a blue flower on all four cats (some are from 2001, some are from 2005) because those look the nicest. Their current tags are attached to their carrying bags, just in case.

Then their individual tag in front. Patrick has his silver tag with a synthetic Emerald in it. Tessie has a little enamelled Red Sox logo. Kylie has a small pewter heart with her name on it…and now, Gun-Hee has his star with his name in Korean (replacing the Bakelite one we got made in Seoul, which is starting to chip and which I don’t want to get ruined).

Perhaps someday, I’ll get Gun-Hee a silver charm like Patrick’s…probably the next time I go to Korea.

The Check is in the Male

So this morning, for whatever reason, Gun-Hee had it in for this check I needed to deposit…

Bearing in mind that this is after he woke me up at 4am so I could throw his milkring for a game of fetch…

Butter up!

Gun-Hee just stole butter! My husband was cooking and left it on the counter to soften.


Next thing he knows, the butter is gone…Gun-Hee had dragged it into the Fort Under the Chairs (his second-favourite place to hide after his cage; I think the butter – which was sitting on the open wrapper – was too hard to drag all the way to his cage), just licking away. My husband salvaged the butter he needed to finish cooking, and I managed to recreate the scene with the wrapper.




No remorse. None. Whatsoever.

Another sketch of Gun-Hee

I drew this a while ago, during a meeting, and forgot to scan it…I rediscovered it today when I had another meeting.

Making a name for Gun-Hee

Today I got Gun-Hee’s new tags, engraved with his name in Korean. Thanks to Virgil at Florin Ghita Jewelers, I found an absolutely awesome guy in the Jewelry Building, Brad Keimach, who made up a template of Gun-Hee’s name in Hangul. Now, I can have it engraved on, well…anything, really, inexpensively. So you know I’m busy thinking up all sorts of things that need his name on them…

It turned out so well!

Something else that’s been on the back burner…

When I took Gun-Hee to ArtBeat in Somervillle a few weeks ago, a woman approached me, impressed by how calm he was in the midst of such kalidescopic turmoil, and asked if I’d ever thought of training Gun-Hee to be a therapy animal. Truth be told, I hadn’t until she asked me.

But wow. Gun-Hee would be really good at that, wouldn’t he? The way he behaved towards the two young girls at the cat show yesterday only underscored that…

So, tonight, I sent an email to the Massachusetts affiliate of the Delta Society, the leading international resource for the human-animal bond. I think that, once we’re done with cat shows, visiting sick people might be a good thing for Gun-Hee to do. And, more importantly, I think he’d really enjoy it.

Cat Show Part Three: After the Show

Towards the end of the show, things got a little quieter. There were no more rings to listen for, and a little time before we had to vacate the hall. It was nice. I had a chance to relax, talk to Cheryl, and kind of chill with Gun-Hee.

A father with two girls (the younger one named Tess – I told her that we had a kitty at home named Tessie) came by and they were fascinated with Gun-Hee. Since it was the end of the day, and Gun-Hee didn’t have to face any more judges, I let both of the girls pet him. They were so great, those girls…kind of reminded me of when my sister and I went to cat shows. Let’s not pretend: some exhibitors at cats shows can be downright rude to “outsiders,” the people who just come to shows to look at cats. I remember them when I was young…and now that I’m (gasp!) actually showing a purebred cat in a CFA show, I want to be an ambassador of sorts.

When Cheryl first came, she said, “Oh, I’m just doing Household Pets,” and I said, “Hey. Nothing wrong with that, that’s how I started.” But I kind of got the feeling that not everyone feels that way. Which is too bad.

I took the opportunity the calm at the end of the show afforded to get a few shots of Gun-Hee’s “home” when we’re on the road..

I couldn’t decide if it was better without the flash or with it…