Archive for Pets

Houston Award Winning Columnist | Alisa Murray | Living the Sweetlife October 2015 | #Alisamurray

Over the years I have been inspired to create different collections. Halloween, is of course one such time that gives so much opportunity. I began my Theatrical Spooktacular series a few years back and this has transformed not only my littles into their dream characters but it has made for some super spectacular art for their homes as well! Here’s just a few from my own collection!
Happy Halloween!

 716 marketing 785-2 marketing 786-2 IMG_0131 5x7 IMG_3353 IMG_3415 Spooktacular 2012-3

Houston Award Winning Author Alisa Murray | Living the Sweetlife February 2015 | #alisamurraywrites


Living The Sweet Life: I am “owned” are you?

February 2015



Do you own your pet? Or does your pet own you?  A perplexing question isn’t it? After much thinking on the subject, and since I do not live with dogs; I have come to terms with the fact that cats at least decide this for you. Let me first say that I don’t mind it either way…the ownership part, although being the one in charge usually suits me best! Either way, you better believe that life is really grand when you have a cat. I can not imagine living without them. Like many humans, I have come to discover that some attach themselves to us while others just pick their person and they act as if they own them. Currently, I am an owned person.


In the beginning I was owned. Charlie from day one wanted just me, he was so taken by me that he would poop in my shoes if I stayed gone too long and he would nip at my ankles as I walked through the house at night; trying to get me back to bed to cuddle more probably! He was passive aggressive about how he treated me if I got out of line…LOL

Christopher Thomas stole my heart from the moment that I laid eyes on him and we were an inseparable pair for 19 years. He loved all of us. He would sit with Brian, he would watch the children and when they were babies he would let me know they were crying by getting me and flicking his tail in a hook. He’d go a few paces and then stop as if to say “you coming?” He taught me a lot about routine and balance and he made me stop working each day so he could sit with his paw on my hand and watch tv. He was like one of our children. You can read more about him in the back issue of Sweet life March 2014.

And then there was William… From day one, he thought he was ruler over all things me. LOL

William loves only me and his days are spent trying to keep track of me. He loves me like no other animal has ever before. I realized this when Christopher Thomas died William immediately took up residence in all of his old spots and stopped doing the things that had driven me crazy for years! It was like he was saying “We are best friends now and I will prove it to you!” At first I was annoyed because I was grieving. William had not been my cat, and furthermore I did not particularly want to have one just then. Here’s the thing though….William had always wanted to be mine; I just did not see it. Occasionally he would pee in my Louis Vuitton’s and Brian would just shake his head in disbelief that a cat could do that to my bag and I would not kick it out of the house. I guess I am patient. Maybe it’s from shooting newborns for so long… I do come into contact with lots of bodily fluids daily in the studio. LOL. Strangely suspicious though; as soon as Christopher Thomas died, the peeing stopped. Every night he finds me and the conversations begin. After finding me and insisting on smothering me with head buts, he finally settled on a velvet pillow at my right side.

We have a baby here at our house and his name is Ninja. Last May he was found in a dog’s mouth only a few days old and nearly dead. I got up every three hours and fed Baby Ninja kitten milk and watched him grow. Today he is a magnificent black panther of a feline. He is big and full of himself. Being the now well trained human that I am I have come to observe those that “own” me. Occasionally I catch him staring at William. He makes this little noise that’s not a meow or a growl but more of a little squeak. At night when I take my bath, he sits on the side of the tub and he dips his paws into the water to “bathe” with me. If I lean forward towards him he will lick the bubbles off of my face to “groom” me. Lately he has taken up stealing my shoes….especially the Yellow Box flip flops, you know the ones that aren’t exactly cheap? Sometime in the night he takes them up the stairs, one by one hiding them under James Edward’s bed where he chews them to a big fat mess! He knows I am not happy about it but he cares not! I no longer wonder if he is perhaps trying to tell me something. I am destined to be owned for years to come and truth be told I would not have it any other way!


Take Care of YOU!




Living the Sweetlife: Hysterical & Heartbroken

Living the Sweetlife: Heartbroken and Hysterical March 2014

In 1994 I was doing a wedding and at the rehearsal dinner at Los Alamados one of the dear children tugged on my dress and pointed outside and shouted “kitty!” It was November and quite a cold evening. I went out into it and bent down towards that blonde bundle and the sweetest little kitten pushed his two front paws off the leaves to touch my hand with his very cold nose! I scooped him up, his size no more than a few weeks old, if that. He was instantly mine.
When it came time to have children, it was Christopher Thomas who laid in the bed comforting me while I miscarried and held steadfast to my bedside as I recovered from anything that ailed me. Christopher Thomas would sit on my lap and knead one side of me while the babies nursed the other. Christopher Thomas was there as my Granny and Big Daddy died, then my Father, and my Uncle and my Nana… You must know he had always been there.
I began to notice that he was getting feeble but I guess I was in denial. I remember saying to Brian at Christmas that this was probably going to be our last Christmas with him but secretly I wasn’t buying it. I should have been…
On the eve of the new year I began to realize something was very wrong. By midday on New Years day well, I was sure of it. Christopher Thomas began the afternoon of the eve clambering at the back door, squeaking his declawed paws on the glass in an effort to escape the home that had cared for him for 19 years. With his persistence, I caved by mid afternoon to his requests and allowed him the pleasure of walking around the pool, checking the flowerbeds and even indulged him sitting in the alyssum and closing his eyes while honey bees swarmed around him. He was making his last rounds to the spaces he had called home for so long. By the evening he was drooling blood and I knew deep down that the end had somehow crept near without me noticing. I wished more than anything at all that it hadn’t.
I saw Becky, Christopher Thomas’s doctor, at the HEB and in hindsight I know this was not a coincidence. On January 2nd I took him into ICU. I left my wig which he had sat near when the babies were in their cribs learning how to sleep through the night and Becky said he stayed near it the entire time in the hospital. We got him on a Tuesday, Father Mike came and did his final blessings… and by Wednesday evening I knew what had to be done. I was then and to be truthful still am a mixture of heartbroken and hysterical.
His last night in between me carrying him to the potty and administering his IV’s I secretly prayed to my Heavenly Father that as he walked through the grassy pathway to heaven it would be my own Mother who would bend down and offer her hand for him to press his cold nose! She so loved yellow tabby’s!
On the second Thursday morning of the new year, after he had given me warning and a full week to get my head wrapped around this he passed away into God’s and my Mother’s waiting arms. His head in my hands and breathing my own breath as he went. It was awful…it was wonderful. He was 19.
When these things happen to us I find myself reflecting to parallels in my life. I pull deep into myself and search for answers. When my Nana passed away at 102 I was there. It was awful mainly because she was my mother. I had now lost two. She got me through so much, held me up when none else even knew I needing holding. She waited though, despite post surgery complications and my stubbornness that she was not going to die. When I arrived in North Carolina, had time to give her a manicure, place her favorite perfume on her and essentially prepare myself for the inevitable, she and only then passed. She, like my Christopher Thomas, gave me time to get my head wrapped around her death.
Many never get that chance to prepare themselves for another’s passing. I have experienced both parents suddenly just….gone. Nana and Christopher Thomas gave me a gift. They each allowed me the opportunity to say goodbye. Can’t wait to see them someday on the other side!
Take Care of what is important to YOU!

A Cat’s Life….

blue bird of happiness

Sometimes I wonder about “luck.”

Mostly when I am in my den with a cat on my lap thinking of the various probable outcomes that could have been with my cats. Take for instance Christopher Thomas, who is the last of pre-baby animals in my home. Turning 18 this September and despite a few strokes and wobbling hind parts he still has it together. He was found wandering about off of I-10 near Los Alamados at 4 weeks old in the woods. Funny that the very night I found him I happened to be wearing my mother’s mink coat and when I placed my finger down at his little shaking body in those woods he did, as all cat people know a lovely and very felinesk upward head butt to meet my finger as if saying well, hello there new mama!

Over the years Brian and I have of course saved many an animal and both of our childhoods are colored with similar stories of a special dog or cat that just quite frankly chose us. Brian and I bought Charlie. Charlie was and forever will be the only cat I will ever buy as ever since God made sure I could be switched over he has placed in our path many more and only as much as we can handle. He was our first cat and if I had been impatient with anything in my early married life it was for Charlie to be more like a dog. He was amazing and contrary and if I were to leave for longer than he deemed appropriate I would come home to a closet full of shoes that he had marked so as to keep track of me I reckoned. I call those years my Cat training.

About a year ago Victoria Ann and James Edward found three kittens in the parking lot of their then school and called me frantically to ask permission to bring them home. Sissy asked me in her seesaw voice “But Mommy… there’s three, is THAT ok?” She knew full well that I was not going to leave kittens in a parking lot in Sugar Land Texas in this HEAT or that I would take only one. LOL

I have determined that we are supposed to have 6. It sort of worked out that way and not just any six but specifically three girls and three boys. My Cat training was slow and steady and God knew what he was doing because I prefer boys over girls. For many years I had three boys. Then three others were orphaned and they came and then as they died exactly three more would come to replace them.This latest set came in May of last year and this brings me to my little story about a small and very sweet miracle cat, who I have come to call chef and my daughter officially named Roscoe.

He was clearly the runt of the litter and when the children brought him in with his two sister’s his little whiskers had been pulled out. Quite tragic since us cat people know they actually need those to get around; they are not just God’s decoration.

I started calling him Chef because he began hanging around me while I was cooking and then he just basically decided to never leave the kitchen. If while cooking I failed to give him a little taste of this or that of whatever I was cooking he would grab me by both sides of my leg and stretch up to where he could hang on and head butt me in my hip! He would just stay there and keep butting until I gave him a taste. I started asking him if he thought a recipe needed an extra this or that and he would look at me with those big eyes and his lipstick marked mouth and say “meow.”

“Chef” otherwise known as “Roscoe” has always been a little bit different. He likes to curl up in the sinks and he likes to get in the tub after my bubble bath and frolic in the leftover suds. Not many cats like baths or are brave enough to sit in a place they know is capable of water pouring out! Alas, Chef never seemed to want to go outside and even when it wasn’t a hot day he would always stay close to the door and keep an eye out that it never shut; hence locking him out from the cool indoors.

One day Roscoe began sleeping in the litter box and that folks is past strange. Brian had mentioned that he never saw him running around or climbing trees like his sisters. I had noticed too that in one attempt to get to the counter he had missed and landed straight away into a pan of BBQ sauce completely ruining our supper.

Something was awry. I quickly took him to the doctor, a sweet one at Sienna Hospital by the name of Dr. Becky Green. She kept him to run tests and later that afternoon she called. Apparently Roscoe never developed his kidneys and his heart has a huge chamber instead of the ones that he should have. He is sleepy and droopy because two major organ systems never got developed properly. She told me we have a very limited amount of time with him. He could live 6 months, maybe. Here’s the thing though, I’m wondering if he has lived for a year when all odds were for him to never make it then why can’t he live a few more? I adore him, he is the sweetest little guy and our doctor said well, just take him home and keep doing what you have been. It is a sheer miracle he is even alive. I told her I think we should find a donor. Each day I know as much as I hate it we in this country put to sleep thousands of animals. Why can’t there be a kidney and a heart transplant for my sweet precious Roscoe? I really feel that with the vet school at Texas A&M, surely someone, somewhere could find him a few organs and prolong his life. I asked our doctor if she could do the surgery or if she could perhaps see if the surgery is even possible. It seems to me if we can do transplants in humans then for God’s sake we surely should be able to do it for my cat. I have set up a face book page for my little Chef and I hope someone reads this and has the same thought process as myself. I love him and he is only one. Christopher Thomas is 18 and still in amazing shape for his age. It might be too much to ask, each night I ask for him to have another day. I also called Father Mike and he came and prayed over him and sprinkled him with Holy Water. At least I know if we can’t get him a new set of organs he will be most definitely going to Heaven:)