National Cat Day!

It’s no secret that I am a crazy cat lady.  What I don’t think you understand is what level of crazy I exist on.  I’ve got the shirts, the kitchen towels, the hat, the socks… let’s not forget the things I have for the cats.  Towers, tunnels, outdoor tent and toys on toys.

Let’s just say I need to add to my shirt collection with one that says

“I work hard so my cats can live a better life”.

Harley came along first in July of 2016.  SHE found Clint, is how he describes their meeting.  A stranded little baby lost in the cornfield out by the shop.  He adopted her and kept her “hired” as the shop cat until that November when he decided it was much too cold for a pretty girl to be left in a shop, so he brought her home.

And that is what started their daily travels back and forth between home and the shop for a few months.  Guys, what would you do if you rolled up next to a dude in a big ol work truck and saw this:

Harley and I did a few road trips of our own and she was the QUEEN of kisses on those travels.  I don’t know if it was her way of saying THANK YOU THIS IS AWESOME… or HOW MANY KISSES DO YOU NEED TO PROVE I LOVE YOU and PLEASE TAKE ME HOME!

 

Harley was our ornery cat who provided us our own “cat versus Christmas tree” scenarios in our very own living room.

Harley loved attention.  From snuggles:

 

to light paws on the face to divert your attention back to her:

or just a quick chat after a long hard day of napping…

 

She was the cat that got us over our heartbreak of losing Champ and Sasha.  We were dog peeps up until this crazy little nugget.

And then came Grimmy.

Named after a Gremlin… cute and cuddly and oh so sweet… but with one drop of water, that little bug turns into a lunatic and will attack the rubber-band on your arm while you sleep.

But, how can you not love that little bug when she curls up with you so sweetly?

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We aquired Grimmy from my in-laws.  A stray at their house, they adopted her and brought her into their family of all dogs, but my FIL, being allergic to cats, started looking for a new home for her.  Of course I couldn’t resist and said “let’s give it a try”.

It took a while for Harley to warm up to Grimmy, which broke my heart for Harley because she was crazy pissed at us (there went the snuggles) BUT in return I got a LOT of snuggles in those early days from Grimmy.  If she could be in my arms, she was.  It was awesome.

And sometimes suffocating…

To say we are straight up obsessed with these fur balls is an understatement.  I won’t even tell you how many photos I have of them.   Trust me.  I know. There’s an album…

HAPPY NATIONAL CAT DAY!

And remember: Adopt, don’t shop.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

 

I made this dessert earlier this summer and OHMYGOSH you guys.  It was insane.

Or… so I was told.  I made it for a work meeting.  All I know is it was licked clean within an hour time span.

Thanks to Vera over at Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts for the easy to follow instructions and recipe.  Springforms and I have a history of disasters, but this little raspberry crumble number redeemed our friendship.

Enjoy!

PS. You should click on her link above for legitimate photos of the dessert.  Much more pleasing then my kitchen lighting + iPhone snaps.  Lazy at best when capturing food shots.  Whatevs.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

 

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese-softened
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup raspberries-washed and well drained
FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter- softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter-chilled and cubed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 8 or 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Filling instructions: Mix the cream cheese and sugar together on medium-low speed until creamy. Add egg white and mix on low until combined. Set aside.
  3. Cake batter instructions: Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  4. With an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Spread the cream cheese filling on top. Place raspberries on top of cream cheese filling.
  5. Topping instructions: Combine sugar, flour and chilled cubed butter in a bowl. Stir with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly and sprinkle on top of raspberries.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack, run a thin knife around the cake and loose ring of springform pan.
  7. Store in the fridge.

Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

The Fight of Two Wolves Within You

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

What wolf are you feeding?

Our thoughts can be our own worst enemy, or are biggest advocate.  How we channel our thoughts effects the trajectory of our lives.  It is inevitable that both “wolves” will always be a part of our journey, however, we have the power to choose which one wins minute by minute, day by day, one small victory at a time.

The evil wolf allows negative thoughts in that add up over time to where you no longer realize you are living in your own self-made world of pity, sorrow, skepticism.  You have fed into the negative talk for so long that it has now become a part of who you are and maybe even how you are perceived.  This wolf is the easiest to feed.  It’s easy to slip into negative self-talk.  It’s even easier to complain, gossip, brush-off, ignore, or give-up.  Even the negativity that you brush off as joking is feeding into the evil.

Negativity breeds negativity.

But the second wolf?  That second wolf is full of promise.  It’s also full of work.  And THAT my friends, is where the magic resides.   The second wolf requires patience, commitment, tenacity, grit, perseverance, trust.  It feeds on learning, sharing, praising and the forming of habits.

The second wolf brings forth a sense of accomplishment, pride… peace even.

What’s that cliche phrase?  Nothing worth having comes easy.  You could apply it to this evil versus good wolf scenario.   Take the road with the challenge for the end result is worth more than its weight.  Feed the good wolf.  Feed the wolf that reaps the most benefit.

Right?

But what if I told you to feed both.

If you read into the Cherokee story, the alternative resolution is “if you feed them both, they both win.”

Think on that for a moment.

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Both wolves have characteristics necessary to life.  The evil wolf provides fearlessness, courage and strong-will.   The good wolf provides reason, clarity, courage, longevity.  When paired together they are powerful.

It is up to us how we manage our thoughts and how we provide an avenue for both wolves to co-exist. Mental clarity, self-awareness and confidence resides in the mind over matter.

“How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.”

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Coffee & Cats

Guys.

If you didn’t think I was already crazy cat lady enough, go ahead and prepare yourself.  I took it next level.

New to Omaha: Felius Cat Café.

Felius is Omaha’s first and only nonprofit cat café! Their mission is to revolutionize Omaha’s cat adoption experience and reduce euthanasia rates.

I had the opportunity to sponsor a small part of the start-up costs and of course jumped on the chance.  And not because I am crazy cat lady…. well, partly… but also because I believe in the efforts being made across the U.S. to reduce the number of euthanized animals, increase the education surrounding owning and caring for pets, and the community based partnerships supporting animal care and rescue.  In this case, Wags to Riches has partnered up with Felius to provide adoptable cats!

(PayPal has me set up under my maiden name… I should fix that)

I follow a lot of cat rescuers on IG and have learned a lot on the topics of TNR, rescue, fostering, critical care and adoption.  Here’s looking at you kittenxlady, thecatcade, iamthecatphotogapher, littleman_mika, flatbuschcats, and others.

So while I comment often about my crazy cat lady ways in a funny/poke fun at myself way, I truly believe in the efforts being made to care for these little nuggets.  If you are lucky enough to own a cat from kitten to adulthood, you totally get their charm.

So, back to the post.  Felius is a cute little cat and coffee cafe located near downtown Omaha.

Photo courtesy of Felius, IG.

Patrons have the opportunity to play and connect with the cats on location while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea for a small fee.

Photo courtesy of Felius, IG.

I had my first visit last week and enjoyed an iced coffee and the company of a few cats for about 20 minutes.  While a few were pretty timid and working through trust issues and environment acclimation, a few others were ready to play!

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This particular darling in the photo below wanted so badly to play, but always bailed at the last second and retreated to a safe zone.  I believe I would have been successful in building trust had it not been for the family with two younger kids coming in the room with me.  It’s hard to get kiddos to understand the trust factor in kittos. 😉

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And don’t get me started on this lil snoozer.

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The room is designed with 100% focus on cats and their mannerisms.  Plenty of things to climb, places to hide and comfortable spots to snooze.  There is an escape room, per say, where the cats access through a tunnel.  It is in that room where their litter boxes can be found as well as food and water dishes ( in addition to a few in the main room) but also where the cats can seek refuge from the human race.  Could you imagine being on display all day long?  I asked several questions about this tunnel and escape room as it was very intriguing to me, but also comforting to know exists for them.

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With my sponsorship level I get a free hour visit every month.  I don’t know that I will utilize a full hour, but I definitely foresee a 30 minute lunch break in my future.  What better way to break up a work day then with some furry snuggles and play time?

Photo courtesy of Felius, IG.

You can check out Felius online by clicking here, or in person at 522½ S. 24th Street, Omaha, NE 68102.  If visiting in person just isn’t your thing, but you’d love to help support either organization, click on the below links for options!

Wags to Riches Amazon Wish List

Felius Donation

Cheers!

 

*All photos mine unless otherwise noted.