Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget

Royal Canadian Legion PoppyNovember 11th is Remembrance Day. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause for two minutes, to remember those who have lost their lives in war and in peace support operations, and to honour those who have served and who continue to serve.

As many of you know, our human dad is an officer in the Canadian Forces, and we are very proud of him. His grandfather served in the Second World War. Although we have never met him, we are very proud of him and his service as well.

Please take a moment to attend your local Remembrance Day ceremonies. If that's not possible, Canadians can watch the ceremony at the National War Memorial on CBC. At the very least, please pause for two minutes of silence at 11:00.

Also take a moment to reflect on the lines in the poem, In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian physician, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, in the trenches in WW I on May 3, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields, by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

More resources on Remembrance Day:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mancat Monday: Cuteness

Dragonheart: When I sleep like this, my humans say I look SO cute.

We are sorry we haven't been posting and visiting our friends as much as we used to. Our mom's laptop is giving her some grief at the moment when trying to make blog posts or visit other blogs. We hope to have this sorted out soon!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blog Blast for Peace and Thursday Thirteen

Today is the BlogBlast for Peace! We are purring for peace.

Dragonheart and Merlin's Peace Globe

It is also Veterans' Week (November 5-11). Since our human dad is an officer in the Canadian Forces, Veterans' Week and Remembrance Day are very important to us. Our dad's grandfather is a veteran who served in the Second World War. We would like to thank all the men and women who have served their country, and those who continue to serve, in order to protect our freedoms and to bring freedom to others throughout the world, and who try to bring peace or keep the peace in areas under conflict.

13 Ways to Take Part in Veterans' Week (courtesy of Veteran's Affairs Canada)

  1. Pause for the "2-Minute Wave of Silence" at 11:00 a.m. on November 11 for the men and women who served our country during wartime.
  2. Attend commemorative ceremonies at the local cenotaph.
  3. Watch the national Remembrance Day services on television and remember that the National War Memorial in Ottawa is dedicated to those who served in time of war.
  4. Wear a poppy in tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom.
  5. Plan a candlelight tribute to commemorate a special anniversary with one of the regiments, air force groups or naval associations in your area. Visit Veterans Affairs Canada's Web site for links to Veterans' groups and organizations.
  6. Spread the word about Veterans' Week.
  7. Organize a lunchtime discussion on how the wars still have an impact on our lives today.
  8. Encourage your local public library or archives, both important resources for community history, to create a display of wartime memorabilia (for example, photographs, uniforms, badges, military medals and decorations, diaries) in your office complex.
  9. Hold a series of readings during the Week on books by or about Veterans and the wars.
  10. Organize a walking tour of historic sites related to Veterans' achievements in your community, for example businesses, hospitals, museums, grave sites, etc.
  11. Contact your local Royal Canadian Legion Branch, local historical or genealogical society, the history department at a nearby university or community college, or local Veterans' groups for information and speakers. Bookmark Veterans Affairs Canada's Web site for links to Veterans' organizations.
  12. Visit a Veterans' residence, senior citizens' residence or nursing home to talk to older men and women about their lives and experiences during times of war.
  13. Ask your local school board, a trustee or teachers to use the school resources provided free each year by Veterans Affairs Canada in the classroom.

    and for those currently serving:

    Get in touch with a member of the Canadian Forces either in Canada or overseas. All the addresses for Canadian Forces bases and overseas operations are listed on the National Defence Web site at Write to the Troops.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Meezer Rule Wednesday: Dessert

Merlin: My Meezer Rule for today: Just because we cats are obligate carnivores, doesn't mean we can't enjoy a bit of dessert! Whenever possible, try to share a yummy dessert with your humans, such as this delicious apple pastry! (Who says that cats don't have sweet taste buds!)

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Marathon Monday: The Boys are Back in Town!

We are Back! We had a great week at the Katzenpension, as you can see in the photos below. We are well looked after, and had lots of wonderful cozy spots to curl up in, cat trees to climb, and toys to play with. We also had wonderful humans looking after us, feeding us, giving us fresh water, scooping our litterbox, and giving us lots of attention! As you can see in the photos below, Merlin was looking out the window, really wanting to go outside in the cat run, but it was too cold for us to venture outside. Merlin was a little jealous of the furred kitties in the room next door, who were able to go outside. He could see them in their cat run and wanted to go out in ours!

While we were at the Katzenpension, our humans were having a wonderful time in Dublin. They really enjoyed visiting the city, and running the marathon. It was our mom's slowest marathon (and our dad's too, but he was running with her at our mom's pace, and not on his own), but it was also her most enjoyable! You see, her first marathon ended up being a freakish hot, humid day, so towards the end she was walking in the sun, and running in the shade, because it was so hot and humid. For her second marathon, her stomach starting bothering her after the half-way point, so she ended up running as much as her stomach would let her, and walking when it was bad.

For this marathon, our mom had a plan: she ran with her heart rate monitor, and let it tell her how fast or slow to run. So she ended up walking on some of the hills and when they were running right into the strong wind. The weather, apart from the wind, was perfect for marathon running. Cool and cloudy, but not cold (about 8°C/46°F). But the wind was really strong in some spots. The wind never dropped below 20 km/hr (12.5 mph) and at it's strongest it was blowing at 32 km/hr (20 mph) with a few stronger gusts. Especially towards the end, the winds were really strong, and blowing right into their faces. Other than that, it was a great race. Very well organized, terrific crowd support, excellent water stops along the route, and lots of people running at our mom's slow pace, so there were always people around her and our dad!

You can check out some photos of our humans during the race here and here. We will share more stories and photos from their trip later in the week.

Lots has gone on while we were away, and we will do our best to get caught up as soon as possible. We are happy to be home!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thoughts on Thursday

Well, tomorrow we are off to the Katzenpension (luxury cat hotel) for a week, while our humans are in Dublin. They will be running the Dublin marathon on Monday.

At the Katzenpension we will have a room entirely to ourselves, with plenty of cubbyholes to curl up in, and cat trees to climb. Unlike in August, when we were able to use the outdoor run on a daily basis, it probably won't be warm enough for us to go outside. Merlin is disappointed, as he loved the outdoor run!

The ladies at the Katzenpension take very good care of us, and spend lots of time petting us, playing with us, and, of course, feeding us and cleaning our litterbox. They enjoy having us there, because we are so friendly and unique!

When our humans return from Dublin, our typist should have more time to help us visit our friends. She'll be taking a month off of running, focusing on swimming, strength training and group fitness (ie. aerobics) classes, and then she'll start running again. She hopes to do several triathlons next spring and summer, as well as a half-marathon or two in the spring. So she'll be focusing on triathlon training over the winter. Although that means she'll be spending a lot of time at the gym, she also promises she'll have lots of time for us to blog and visit our friends, since she won't be doing any super-long runs like she has for marathon training.

So we will be gone all next week. We may be able to sneak a post or two while our humans are gone, but that all depends on whether we can get our paws on a computer. We hope that everyone will have a safe and happy week while we are gone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meezer Rule Wednesday: Lap Sharing

Merlin: My Meezer Rule for today: As long as there is enough room, sharing a lap with a sibling can be enjoyable!

Dragonheart and Merlin
Dragonheart and Merlin
Dragonheart and Merlin