Category Archives: cats

TICA Cat Show (Crowne Point Plaza, Natick, MA)

 

Dates Of Event: February 18, 2017 – February 19

Location: Crowne Point Plaza, 1360 Worcester St, Natick, MA, 01760 (about an hour west of Boston)

Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: Ample free parking is available in the parking lot of the Crowne Point Plaza hotel

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: cats of a variety of breeds being judged

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Talent and obedience shows aren’t just for dogs.

Yes, cats can pose, follow orders (ok they’re more like requests with cats) and be just as cute as dogs if given the chance.  And did they ever get the chance.

The TICA (The International Cat Association) held it’s annual cat show for a wide variety of cats to show off their talents and beauty.  The cramped venue had 6 different stages, more like booths, for these felines to show off their stuff.

The cats were grouped by kittens, household cats, alters (cats that have been neutered or spayed; “altered”), kittens and, of course, championship for the lucky few who get to advance.  I was warmly surprised to see the “household cats” category.

While there were so many cats being shown, I was unable to get all of the cats names, breeds and ages.  Since I am a detail-oriented person and I love giving as much as information as possible I was a little disappointed by this.  I do hope you don’t mind too much.

I did manage to get the name and breed of this cat.  She stood out to me because of her unique fur and markings.

Julia is an 8 month old Selkirk Rex.

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The cats were showcased by the judges.  It was interesting to see how each judge had their own personality and methods of showing off the cats.  Some spoke scarcely and were efficient.  Others spent more time with the cat, explaining their breed and sharing other fun facts.  The woman in the first photo I posted was my favorite judge.

It’s also interesting watching how the cats react to being judged.  Some are pretty chill and don’t seem to mind at all, possibly because they are very used to being judged.  Others…not as much.  However, they were all very compliant and well adjusted, even if you can tell it’s not their favorite activity.  It’s also funny to see how easily they can be distracted by shiny objects and feathers.

The cats were judged on Breed, Color and Division and win ribbons with letters corresponding with the first letter in each category (B for Breed, C for Color and D for Divison).  The Breed (B) ribbon is the most sought after ribbon.

Cats move around a lot.  A lot.  Sometimes it’s easier to get their photos while they are being held or when they are in their cages or crates.

Also, as an aside, the hotel where the show was held, the Crowne Point Plaza hotel, is a very cool hotel, at least the function rooms, bar and lobby seem hip.  I would highly recommend it, even if it just to go tot eh bar for a few drinks and dinner after work or during your vacation and leisure time, if you happen too be in the area.

I still think this cat tops them all.  But, I’m biased.  I do know the name, breed and age of this cat.  Bailey is a 7 year old Long haired domesticate.  Maybe I can enter her next year.

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Below is a video of some of the cats at the show.

 


2016 Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

Date Of Event: October 2, 2016 (it is usually held every year during the first Sunday in October)

Location: 32 Derby Square (off Essex St), Salem, MA

Cost: Free (there may have been a registration fee if your pet participated in the event)

Hours: October 2,  1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Parking: Serby Square and the surrounding area are pedestrian friendly, walking areas.  cars are not allowed in this area.  You need to park in a garage or find off street parking.  There are two main parking garages on New Liberty St and Congress St within walking distance and there is metered off street parking.

Highlights: pets…in costumes!

Web Site: 2nd Annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

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Just when you thought Halloween couldn’t be any more fun, Salem Main Streets, working with a variety of local businesses and organizations, held the 2nd annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade.

The first pet parade was such a success they moved it from Artists’ Row to Derby Square.  Having attended the first Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade, I think this was a good call.  The other venue was too narrow and there didn’t seem to be enoug room for everyone to roam freely.  Derby Square had more room but it also became crowded as well.  Everyone loves a pet parade I guess.

There were a variety of dogs in a variety of costumes.

The group of dogs pictured above were, of course, The Scarecrow, Dorothy, the Lion and the Tin Man.  They also brought a yellow brick road which the Scarecrow and Dorothy are sitting on.

Here are some of my favorite dogs and their costumes from the day.

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The force was with this 4 month old Lab who was dressed as Bark Vader.

dsc_0507Aye Matey!  Lady is a 10 year old Chihuahua.

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As if she wasn’t cute enough already, Alexsei, an 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier, was dressed as a koala.

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I’ve heard of dogfish sharks but this takes the cake.  Willie, a 5 year old mutt, is a rescue.

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Samie is a 6 year old Greyhound.

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Blitzen, dressed as a purple monster, is a 1 year old Belgian Malinois (pronounced “mal-in-wah”).  Yes, he’s 1 year old!

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Mickey, I mean Riley, is a 2 year old Lab mix.  I dare you to say “No” to that face.

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Here comes the bride Persephone (the name of the daughter of Zeus), a 10 year old Golden Doodle.

Daisy the Lobster is a 2 and a half year old dog.  Her mom isn’t sure of her breed. She is a rescue from Puerto Rico.

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There were so many cute dogs at the pet parade.  I was unable to get all of their names and breeds but I was able to photograph a lot of them.

There were actually a few very brave cats dressed as Dr Seuss characters at the parade.

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The SalemSaurus T Rex also showed up with his own dog.

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Even if they weren’t dressed in a costume, they were still cute.  Lucy, a 14 year old Chow and Golden mix, just came by to hang out and watch the other dogs.

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We also saw a family of bulldogs on the way to the event.

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Below is a video of the pet parade.

Similar Events I Have Attended In New England:

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2015 Salem Pet Parade

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Boswell’s Books (Shelburne Falls, MA)

Date Visited: September 6, 2016

Location: 10 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA

Hours:

Mon – Wed: 11:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.

Thu & Fri : 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sat: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sun:   10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

(hours may vary depending on the time of the year)

Parking:  There is unmetered  off street parking available (2 hour limit) and a free parking area off Baker Ave with about 30 -40 free spots (take care not to park in the spots reserved for businesses and other tenants in the area) and additional off street parking.  Parking is difficult during peak times

Dog Friendly: Probably Not

Web Site: Boswell’s Books

 

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Few things go better than cats and books.  And Boswell’s Books is proof of this.

Formerly named the Bridge Street Bookshop until 1991, Boswell’s Books was originally named after one of the previous owners’ cats, Boswell.  Since then, the book store has gone through some changes, including changes in location and changes in ownership.  But, the one mainstay has been Boswell.

The current feline resident of the bookstore, a 7 year old female tuxedo cat, is the fifth Boswell.

We found her resting in the front window taking a much deserved cat nap.

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Boswell’s books has cute decor and, even though they may not be as big as some of the other bookstores, they make good use of the space they do have.

They even have acommodations for everyone, people and felines.

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Boswell’s also holds special events such as book signings and book readings.  It’s a must-see if you’re in the Shelburne Falls area!

There are so many fun places to visit in Shelburne Falls.  In fact, one need only to walk along Bridge Street to find some wonderful places to shop.  I have always found these smaller, independtly owned businesses to have  such friendly and great service. Plus, it’s always good to support locally owned businesses.

Mocha Maya’s Coffee House (47 Bridge St) is a cozy little coffee shop where you can bring your recently purchased book to read and have a coffee, sandwich or blended drink.  They also host musical events.

Unfortunately, the Trolley Stop Antiques and Collectibles shop was not open during our visit.  As you can see, the shop has some very unusual products.

Even if you don’t want to stop in at any of the shops or diners, Shelburne Falls is a great place to walk around and appreciate the views and the atmosphere.

Boswell wasn’t the only pet I saw at Shelburne Falls.  Catfish (named after legendary New York Yankee pitcher Catfish Hunter) is a 4 year old (he will be turning 5 in November) Leonberger.  Leonberger’s are a large breed dog that were popular in Germany.  They were originally bred to be a symbolic dog that would mimic the lion in the town crest of Leonberg in Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany.  He’s truly a gentle giant.

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Coggeshall Farm Museum (Bristol, RI)

Date Visited: June 18, 2016

Location: 1 Colt Drive, Bristol, Rhode Island (about half an hour from Providence and 1 hour from Boston, MA)  (401) 253-9062

Hours: presently open Tue-Sun 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 15 – April 15
Open Weekends, 10 am to 4 pm
Open February 16 – 21, 2016 for February vacation

April 15 – December 15
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Cost:

Weekdays

Adults: $5
Seniors: $3
Children (3–12): $3
Children under 3: Free

Weekends

Adults: $7
Seniors: $5
Children (3–12): $5
Children under 3: Free

You can also purchase a membership for unlimited visits, free access to special events and discounts at their gift shop.  If you plan on going more than once or twice a year and especially if you go with your family, the membership is probably the best rate:

 

Individual membership: $25

Couples: $35

Family: $50

Parking:  There is a space for about 4 or 5 cars across from Coggeshall Farm.  You can also park at Colt State Park, which is adjacent to the farm but you may have to pay a fee to enter the park.

Size: 48 acres

Time To Allot For Visit: About An Hour

Dog Friendly: No (except for guide dogs)

Highlights: living museum, character actors, farm animals, historic style homes

Coggeshall Farm Museum

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You often find the most wonderful places in the most unexpected places.  On an otherwise nondescript trail at Colt State Park used for cycling and running, lies a farm frozen in time.

Established in 1973, the Coggeshall Museum Farm features interpreters and authentic reenactments of farm life in the year 1799.  Every last detail from the tools they use to the bedding (mostly hay) is authentic to the time it represents.

I loved the houses and workshops at Coggeshall.  The homes and interiors were definitely the highlight of the trip for me.  The rooms were modest and fairly bare (and I thought my room was small).

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Even the papers and bills in the houses are accurate to those days.  They don’t accept them as legal tender though, in case you were wondering.

Coggeshall Farm Museum also has a variety of animals.  When I came to visit there were 2 steer, 11 sheep and several chickens, turkeys and other fowl.  I also got to see some newly hatched chicks.

When I asked how long they keep the animals there I was told they usually live 6 to 8 years and then they have a “retirement plan.”  Yes, everything gets used at the farm.

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There were several character actors working during my visit.  This gentleman was cutting wood to store (it’s never too early to get ready for long, chilly winter nights).  When I asked how long it would take to cut all the wood he said, “util it is done”.  Where has that work ethic gone?

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The grounds are well kept and very pretty.  They also have a large grazing area for the animals.

Then there was Moe – the resident cat and pest control manager.  He was very friendly and playful as you can see.  Believe it or not, the chipmunk he’s hunting and carrying so gently escaped only a little worse for the wear.

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Coggeshall Farm also lets the patrons partake in some tasks (such as cutting wood) as long as it is supervised and they  have many events throughout the year such as Arts On The Farm and Farm Camp.  Check their website for more details.

 

 


Rotary Common Park (Nashua, NH)

Date Visited: March 5, 2016

Location: 315 Main St, Nashua, NH

Reflection Garden & Labyrinth

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Located next to the New Hampshire Holocaust Memorial on Main Street across from a strip mall and busy roadway, the Rotary Common Park is a most unlikely place to find an art display.  But, the Rotary Common Park is just that; an outdoor art museum.  And this isn’t just some tourist attraction.  The art here is very thought-provoking and amazingly crafted.

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The “Path Of Truth” is a memorial to the “layers of humanity”.  Or, as Sarah Mae Wasserstrum said;

“From the Origin layers of Humanity, we are connected by a common denominator.”

She imagines humanity as like layers, some thicker and some modest, all plied from the past to the future.  The stone signifies the immense power of people and our ability to grow and change.

 

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A bench dedicated to Michael Kelley.  Who was Michael?  What was he like?

Since it is located directly across from the Holocaust Memorial, the Reflection Garden & Labyrinth is the most popular spots at the park.  Benches, sculptures, tiles with words of inspiration and works of art dot the circular reflection area.

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The “Encounter” sculpture by Luben Boykov,

Boykov described it as, “The present moment of meeting becoming a place in the future.”

Boykov explains the sculpture as a moment just before people meet that are so quick but also last forever.  It represents an encounter that can begin a lasting relationship.

There was also a surprising amount of animal activity in the area like this bird and a thirsty cat.

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The displays at the Rotary Park change on a regular basis so keep an eye out if you’re in the area!

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Cat Alley (Manchester, NH)

Date Visited: February 27, 2016

Cost: Free

Parking: Off street parking and parking lots are available throughout the area

Location: Dean Ave., Manchester, NH

Dean Avenue, also known as the hardest place to find in Manchester, is home to Cat Alley – an alley full of cats.

I must have asked a dozen people for directions to this alley way until one older gentleman chuckled and sent me in the right direction.  A lot of people got it confused with the “Alley Cat” (a popular pizza joint in the area).  Don’t go there as it is not even close to the “Cat Alley.” The hidden alleyway is easy to miss.  It is located between Lala’s Hungarian Pastry (mmmm) at 836 Elm St and Alpha Loft at 844 Elm St.  There is a sign on the shingle of Lala’s indicating Dean Ave.

There are cats everywhere in Cat Alley.

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The name “Cat Alley” precedes the art on the walls.  According to legend, the name was derived from a business man witnessed two stray cats duking it out.  I sure wish he had broken it up.  At any rate, after noticing the alley way, which I might not recommend walking down too late at night, a business man decided to raise funds and hire street artists to give the alley the look it deserves.  Below is a slideshow of all of the art as well as a video of a walk through of the alley.

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Cat Alley isn’t the only place I found graffiti, much to the chagrin of many Manchester residents I am sure.  I found this mural on Manhattan Lane, a side street parallel to Elm St.  This mural is spot on, minus the recycling bins.  From left to right is the “Man In The Mountain” (which, as a child, I used to call the “Old Man In The Mountain”) – a rock formative created by wind, erosion and other weather factors on the side of a mountain and which collapsed on May 3, 2003.The state flower is represented as purple lilac.  The rest of the mural is also emblematic of New Hampshire; a purple finch (which does have a reddish look) and a covered bridge which is a staple of New Hampshire.

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This is another piece of graffiti I found on Manhattan Lane.

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I saw a lot of photo-worthy things during my visit.  I will be posting more from my trip soon.  Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook here to see photos and videos I don’t post in my blog posts.  Thank you!

 


The Dogs And A Few Cats Of 2015 (All Over New England)

A whole year.  One whole year of dog photos.

When I first started my blog my intention was to photograph and create a journal of my trips in the New England area.  It wasn’t until I went on my first photography shoot that I realized just how proud people are of their pets.  And they should be.   In fact, the only thing cuter than the dogs I have photographed is the reaction of the owners when I ask them if I can photograph their pooch.  They are most often thrilled or at least flattered.  Only one person has declined to let me photograph their dog and that was because the person I asked was walking someone else’s dog.

So, please enjoy the dogs of 2015.  I look forward to photographing many more in 20116!

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