Tag Archives: cute cats

Lost in Translation, Found in Humor

hyoungThis is Hyoung Eun. She translated Little Bookstore into Korean and got it a whole bunch of great publicity over there. And we really enjoyed chatting while she was working on the book and she loves cats, so of course, we became Facebook friends.

With the result that sometimes my Facebook timeline reveals lovely, inscrutable conversations like this one, which appeared below the picture of this lovely, fluffy white cat that I think is Hyoung Eun’s, and pregnant:

hyoung cat 2

원고료 받으면 얘꺼부터. 달라고 기다리고 있지만, 너 아까 간식 먹었잖아…
나는 아직 겨울옷 장만도 못했는데, 겨울 다 가버렸네.

The manuscript fee received, showed it off. Waiting for him, but if you like I ate a snack …
I still haven’t get winter clothes, winter is gone. -_- (Translated by Bing)
Okay, let’s admit that’s a beautiful haiku, but say what, Bing Translator? Hyoung Eun speaks flawless English, but of course she was talking to her other Korean friends there, people who are also friends with me but read my book in their native language and don’t use English as their primary on Facebook. Thus I offered the following.
Wendy Welch Adorable! (This seemed like appropriate and safe commentary.)
Yunjung Sung 나비다~~^^ 혹시 저 박스가 다 나비먹을꺼?The butterfly is a butterfly that is ^^ all ~ ~ have you ever eat? (Translated by Bing)
홍장근 나도사줘I give Imam (Translated by Bing)
Hyoung Eun H Wendy Welch He is, isn’t he? – a proud [cat] mother. : )
Hyoung Eun H Yunjung Sung 모래도 있어.^^ 모래랑 간식. 이제 사료는 병원에서 따로 처방사료 사서 먹여야 해 ㅠ ㅠIt’s also Sung sand Yunjung. ^^ Sandy lang snacks. Now feed in hospitals set aside to buy feed and fodder prescribed ㅠ ㅠ (Translated by Bing)
Hyoung Eun H 홍장근 뭐 사줄까? ^^Hong Chang-Geun what buy? ^^ (Translated by Bing)
Hyoung Eun and friends, I want to thank you for the fun you’ve added to my life, and I hope your pregnant male cat enjoys the coffee. (Yes, everyone, we all know that cats mustn’t have caffeine.) And I want to say that Hyoung Eun is a better translator than Bing will ever be. And that the butterfly in the winter snowstorm is beautiful – almost as beautiful as Hyoung Eun’s sweet kitty. God Bless us, every one!
Hyoung cat 1

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Nike’s Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the bookstore’s cat and human friends near and far –

It’s my understanding that humans send a letter each Christmas detailing all the fun and exciting things that have happened in their lives since the last one.

I’m sure human adventures have little to compare to feline ones, but still, it’s sweet that you try. Now, to my own Christmas letter. Since I wasn’t here last year, being only six months old, we can all agree that the world is a better place now. I know you’ll want to hear about my whole life, so here it is:

ImageThe first thing I remember is being cold and hungry in a big dark place, and a sharp sting on my head. Then there was a lady saying nice things in a reassuring voice, and a car ride, and I was at the doctor’s having my head shaved. They saved me from dying of fly-strike, so I don’t fault them for laughing, but is it my fault the haircut accentuated my ears? I have a tiny body, so I did rather look like a moth.

Then I went to the bookstore, and people began cuddling me and saying how adorable I was. This part was fun, but soon I began to suspect that the bookstore people were trying to get rid of me. When people came to cuddle me, they kept saying I was “available” for “adoption.” When they said this about the other kittens at the shop with me, they began disappearing one by one.

Hmmmm….. I liked it at the bookstore. There was Owen, the muscular, attractive guy just a year older than me. We like to…. wrestle. And then there’s Valkyttie, the elder cat, fragile and brittle but she’s taken me in paw. She watches me play with Owen and then regales me with her adventures as a younger cat. Apparently she was quite the looker.

Now who would want to leave such a complete family, so I activated a cunning plan to stay. One of the humans who worked there seemed content to let me be, but I sensed resistance in the man. I set to work, rubbing my long silky fur against his ankles, leaping into his lap and purring as I nestled against his chest, gazing up with limpid hazel eyes, even emitting pathetic little mews in the mornings as he sipped his coffee, until he’d lean down and set me on his shoulder.Image

I thought it was all going well until one day I saw them packing my bowl and some favorite sparkly toys in a bag. I’d been “adoption”-ed? Well, I wasn’t having that, so I straightaway jumped into the man’s lap, lay on my back purring, and batted his mustache with my little pink paw.

So next Christmas my letter will again come from the bookstore, and meanwhile I pray for all the homeless kittens everywhere to find a safe and warm family, and for their owners to make sure they don’t have kittens themselves.Image


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You are Invited….

It’s that special time of year when tummy bugs, Celtic festivals, busy life syndrome and a host of last-minute “oh crap, is that due today” moments collide to produce….

exhaustionexhaustion. That’s me on the right, having just finished crocheting a pre-ordered SPAY AND NEUTER AFGHAN, a fundraising item to pay for – well, I guess you can guess what it pays for. See the rows of cat faces; that’s what you get if you don’t spay and neuter. (The cat face on top belongs to Owen Meany, who is quality testing.)

Elissa took this photo during the last Celtic festival meeting, held yesterday evening, just before the madness begins tonight at 7. And in the back of my mind as we discussed festival details and I put the last row on the blanket was “where can I get a birthday cake personalized first thing in the morning?” Friends-n-family thing we forgot to take care of.

Thing is, while I’d like to invite you to a pity party for five minutes of self-indulgent luxury, I know Jack and I are lucky to live in a community full of people willing to volunteer time and effort to run a Celtic festival. We’ve been fielding phone calls all week from Cincinnati, St. Louis, even El Paso, from Celti-philes coming to the event. It’s good for the town, it’s good for the musicians, it’s good fun.

(We’re also lucky to have friends who totally deserve really cool birthday cakes, and the fact that we forgot until last night is by no means a measure of our esteem for said friend…. you get that, Frank?)

And while no joint venture in a small town is without politics, if you just walk straight and keep your sense of humor, it doesn’t matter. Jack, Darinda, Elissa – all the members of the Celtic Festival committee – we know we’re having fun, and that other people will, too. So all those planning sessions (I think I crocheted that whole afghan at meetings in August and September alone) are worth it.

So is that look on my face. Go by, mad world. Actually, no: come here and share the mad gay whirl that is Big Stone Celtic. It’s gonna be a great two days.

bsc billboard


Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, crafting, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA

The Working Cats of Istanbul

IMG_3980My friend Nichole once sent me  a book called Cats of Greece. This has inspired today’s blog, on a theme dear to my heart–and also to my friend Heather’s. (Heather is the GG who wrote the guest blog “Dirty Little Secrets of the Little Bookstore” a few days ago, featuring cats.)

There are many cats in Istanbul, and because of Turkey’s excellent training programs, they all have gainful employment.  Zeynep weaves carpets just down from the High Street by Topkapi Palace. Below, Turker and his sister Ceren run a sidewalk cafe near the Galata Tower.IMG_3982

At the palace itself, there are several cats working shifts at the guardhouse set up for their convenience in bad weather. I didn’t get all their names, but one night I took some leftover food up, and when the bag rustled as I dumped it, cats came from everywhere.

IMG_3953  Amane sings with a jazz band in the newer part of Istanbul, up near the High Street from Galata, but she is also putting herself through school by selling instruments in a music shop. She teaches beginning drums for children.IMG_3920

Ahmet was on guard duty at the Blue Mosque when we walked up one night, but the mosque was closed except for those who wanted to pray, and Ahmet was clearly embarrassed that we were still there as tourists. We thanked him and left quickly.IMG_3975

Ayse paints ceramics outside the Grand Bazaar; she was on break when we met her. IMG_3875

Of course we were delighted to meet Suliman and his wife Fatma, who keep a bookstore in the market district. They introduced us to their colleague next door, Mahmood, who specialized in antique calligraphy.



IMG_3790This wee cat, whose name we didn’t catch, was begging at a fishing village on the Bosphorous tourism boat stop. She leaped into this couple’s lap and made nice, then when fish from his sandwich was not forthcoming, clawed him until he dropped it. Clever little bugger.

IMG_3912Sultan is teaching his human the carpet trade in the Sultan’s stables bazaar, just off the Blue Mosque. Sultan was very thirsty when we came by, having just finished his lunch of salami, and his human staff were appreciative when I poured water from my bottle into his saucer.

IMG_3703Theodora poses for pictures with little children in Gulhane Park, for the very reasonable fee of one Turkish Lira per photo.

 And finally, Topkapi (that’s her stage name; her real name is Tiffany) moved here from France and models jewelry for the Ti Amo jewelry store, across the street from the Sirkaci Konak Hotel in the Old City. Topkapi only works nights.IMG_3871


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