Rainy Day

The only days when all of my coworkers come in are rainy ones.


The Chronicles of Mazu: Battle of the Orange Fluffy Thing

It’s kitten picture time! At least we’re still calling Mazu a kitten, even though she’s up to 10 months now and has enough fur to convince us she’s much larger than she is. It’s pretty impossible to deny that she’s a Maine Coon anymore—heck, I’m not sure if she’s got any of her calico mother in there at all!

But back to the battle. Please enjoy these pictures of Mazu engaged in a fierce war, so fierce that focusing was nearly impossible. What better way to start your Monday than with kitten adorableness? (I may have a sickness, I know).

Mazu preparing for battle with great enthusiasm.

Mazu preparing for battle with great enthusiasm.

The first catch---shes fascinated, really.

The first catch—she’s fascinated, really.

See, I told you! Its a kitten versus orange puffy thing war!

See, I told you! It’s a kitten versus orange puffy thing war!

Loki’s New Favorite Thing and RSS Updates

Hello lovely readers,

I’m going to be migrating all of my posts done previously to using WordPress software into the WordPress system over the next few days (hopefully, that’s all it will take). I’m going to try and figure out if I can stop the RSS from updating for each of these since there’ll be at least 100, I think, but I’m less than certain I’ll be successful at stopping the feed updates for them, so your stream may soon be flooding with The Gourmez posts. Apologies, if so!

To make up for this hardship, please be calmed by these new photos of the kitty gods of Woodcroft. Loki has discovered a new way to demand his tribute.

Loki and the foodbag

He’s quite pleased with himself about it.

Loki Pleased

And now, you can see all three cats in their natural atmosphere.

Mazu on chair. Dandi on the floor.

One-eyed wonder

Kittens on the march, err, lie down.

As always, more pictures of the cats for those that just can’t get enough of Loki, Mazu, and Verdandi (namely, me) are available at our photo website.

Cat Show—Photo Blog

A couple of weekends ago, I went to my first ever cat show, run by Coastal Paws Cat Club. It was held at the Raleigh fairgrounds, inside a smaller building that really could have used better ventilation, though the initial wham of litter box smell did fade pretty quickly. That was really the only unpleasant part of going, though, as any cat lover has to like watching tons of pretty kitties strut their stuff.

I’ve never been to a dog or cat show, so this was all new to me. We only hung out for an hour or so, but we were able to learn a few things:

1.  Fluffy, puffy cats are awesome to look at when they get properly groomed.

2.  There were around ten different judges and each one seemed to look at every cat. The cats are brought up in groups of ten or so, and the judges compile their notes on which ones they thought were the best representatives of their breed, age, etc.  We saw one judge hand out ribbons for her top 10 cats, so I can only assume all of the judges do that and then there is a round of judging between those top cats.

My Cat is Home

Last summer, I posted this blog about my cat, Loki, having disappeared a week earlier. It is leaps and bounds ahead of every other blog entry I’ve posted in terms of hits, and that must be because so many people have had pets go missing and reach out to find others in the same situation to look for some hope that their own animals might return.

Loki’s Misssing Photo

Well, there is hope! Loki has returned! Last Friday, eight months after he disappeared, I received a phone call from Home Again, one of the microchip pet locator services.

“Hello, Becca Gomez Farrell?”


“You have an orange tabby named Loki, who’s been missing?”

“Yes.” At this point, I think I started going into shock, a sensation that didn’t leave until I had him home for a couple days.

“Well, I have a vet office on the line in Apex, who has your cat. Would you like to speak to them?”


I then learned that he had been brought into their office only an hour ago for emergency care.  Apex is more than 10 miles from here, and the lady who brought him in had been feeding him on and off in her neighborhood for the last six months. He was likely hit by a car, or possibly fell from a high height, and ended up with two fractures to his jaw and a ruined eye with an abscess behind it. Before the accident, he had still been wearing his black collar, but the tag had fallen off. The woman, who was crying with worry, and her son waited to meet me.  She told me that she had gone to all forty houses in her neighborhood when he first appeared, to see if someone were missing him, but hadn’t considered a microchip. Many people don’t even know they exist; I’d heard of them but gave them no thought myself until I adopted Loki and Verdandi two and a half years ago from the shelter.  I give much thanks to that woman for her having compassion and bringing him in to a vet, who check for microchips as part of their normal routines.

Loki was a mess. He was acting every bit the wounded cat–drowsy, in pain, smelling like an infection–but would try to purr through his broken jaw when I pet him. I’m not sure I would have recognized him-he looked much larger than he used to–but I think that was mostly swelling of his head, though he is a bit taller. The vet said he perked up when I came, but I would never have been able to tell that myself.  Ben joined me after I’d spent two hours there, and we ended up waiting for another one before they finished checking his blood tests and referred us on to Cary Veterinary Specialty Hospital for further treatment. Except for what was likely a false positive FIV test (Loki’s vaccines lapsed in September, but once a cat is vaccinated for FIV, we’ve learned from my regular vet and the Internet that any test for it will turn up positive because they have the antibodies in their system. He’s had four FIV vaccines in all.), his chemistries looked great, thankfully.

Saint Mazu and the Fountain — A Photo Essay

Mazu, our five-month-old kitten, has four goals in life: 1) Convert house plants into litter boxes, 2) Rush out the front door, 3) Pretend I’m a tree, and 4) Defeat the monster in the water bowl.

It’s a Petmate water fountain and the motor makes sucking noises whenever the water gets low. To Mazu, these noises can only mean one thing — there’s a monster in there somewhere and she’s going to get it. She spends at least half her day batting water out of the thing so the noise comes back and she can attack it. Please enjoy these images of one such battle.

The first swing

The first swing

Try the other side

Try the other side



My Cat is Missing


Loki is a male, neutered, orange and tan tabby.  He has a white spot under his neck/on his chest and bits of black on some whiskers, close to his nose.  He’s always been a runt, so his head is small and he is usually skinny.  If you live in Southwest Durham and think you may have seen him since 5/28, please email me at

My cat is missing.  He’s been missing for almost a week now and every day, I cry.  I miss my cat.  He is one of the most personable, friendly, mischievous cats that I’ve ever known.  It probably doesn’t help that we named him Loki after the Norse god of trickery.  Loki, you see, likes a challenge.