Kitty Love

Here we go, it’s time for me to give you the Life of Jack, who, if you don’t know, is the youngest of our two Kitties.  I finally decided his story needed to be a permanent part of the blog.  I thought I’d have fun by writing about how we came to get Jack and what he’s meant to us . . . he’s an excellent example of why, if we can, we should all have a kitty!  And if you’ve never had one and are curious, here’s kitty info from me and Jack to you with love. Con Musica

Jack’s Story: When the shelter called to tell us that a male tuxedo kitten had come in and asked if Joe and I wanted to come look at him, we said OK with a wee bit of trepidation because we did have another older kitty and we didn’t want to upset the apple cart.  On the drive to the shelter in Edgartown we talked about what we would name him if we decided to take him.  I was tired of naming all my kitties the same thing, always “Man Kitty” for a boy and “Girl Kitty” for a girl (my creativity comes to a screaming halt when naming my cats, I’m terrible at it, I’ve had two generations of Man Kitties and Girl Kitties).  In the car Joe suggested we might call him “Jack” ~ we still aren’t sure why he came up with that but it sounded OK to me, better than Man Kitty.  But we still weren’t one hundred percent sold on getting a kitty, at least we needed to meet this one before we’d decide for sure.

When we arrived and this new kitten with the funny face was put into my hands, he tipped his head up to look at me and I could see the paper collar he was wearing.  Lo and behold!  They had already named him at the shelter!  And his name, written right on the collar was “Jack!”  Hello?  Well, that was pretty much it.  Obviously this was meant to be.  Pack him up!  He’s ours!  Even though he kind of looked like there was a big black spider on his face, this kitty was meant for us!  There’s Jack (above and below) with Joe on his first day home, ten weeks old with a perfect little mustache and sweet as pie.

At this point I was just hoping he would grow into his nose . . . but no matter what, I was in love, mad love.

One of the best things about kittens and cats is that they’re great for people who haven’t the patience for the six months-to-a-year (or maybe lifelong) potty training required for a puppy.  With cats, you just fill a plastic box with kitty litter before you pick up your kitty, come home, put him in it, scratch his paw there so he can see how delightful it feels and that’s it!  He’s potty trained!  You are done!  He will always go there!  Brilliant!

And of course, having a soft little fuzzy guy like this in the house is just so much fun!  Like a cuddly baby that doesn’t grow up and can almost feed itself and never needs his diaper changed.

He has the roundest eyes that seem to get greener as he gets older!  He makes me run for the camera about eighteen times a day  because everything he does is just so cute.  He walks sideways, he jumps out at me on his back too legs, he makes me laugh all the time. And the more you hug and kiss them, the better little pets they become, the more precious they are to you.

 The cuddling never ends . . . they don’t have hands, they can’t put water in a bowl or feed themselves, they need you for that.

After a while as Jack began to grow into his face, we noticed that our kitty has movie-star quality.  Like Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind or William Powell in The Thin Man→, or even more, like Hercule Poirot, the Agatha Christie detective   ←who’s always getting  himself into trouble, but looks suave while he does it.  Jack had those kinds of superstar qualities.   

We started looking at mustaches with a different view . . .

Sheri and Kellee (whom many of you know from my Studio) felt very connected to Jack from the beginning.  Even tho’ they were in California, 3000 miles away from where Jack lives with us on Martha’s Vineyard, they got into the action.  And in fact, they went out very soon after this and got their own Studio kitties!  Two kittens that live with them at the Studio.  Because what is life without a cat?  Nothing makes me happier when I’m away from home, on a vacation or something, than to go into a store that has a cat in it!  Oh, the fur!  Oh, the contentment!

 I could no longer bear to have this pillow sitting around as it originally came to me. . . something was missing . . .

I pulled out my black permanent marker and fixed it right up . . . now it’s almost the exact image of Jack!

He taught me what he likes.  The first thing that caught his attention was this furry red ball.  He just LOVED it.  He carried it around in his mouth all the time looking like an adorable walking greeting card.

Black and white kitties have always been my favorite because they go so well with my furniture.  Artistically pleasing and very graphic.

After a while, I would throw the ball, he would catch it, and, depending where we were, he would bring it back to me to throw again.

Notice that post he’s sitting on?  Joe wrapped a board with an old piece of carpeting and put it in the living room the first day we got him.  Jack loves this post, he knows it’s his and he never scratches the furniture, ever, he just goes to his post.  If you get a kitty, give him a post asap, don’t let him start with any bad habits.  Bad habits are hard to break.

Jack showed off his multi-talented self from the beginning, gathering his toys together in one spot.  Hunter gatherer.

I would find little groups of his toys in piles around the house. One time I picked up the scale in our bedroom because he was sniffing around it suspiciously, and under it there were seven ponytail bands.  I would throw them to him and never see them again.  He’d been scooting them under the scale.

He’d lost interest in the ball throwing and retrieving, and instead, he wants me to shoot ponytail bands for him . . . so he can catch them in mid air with his two paws, put them in his mouth, and bring them back to me!  You can see him clutching onto one of the bands here.

It’s what he loves to this day . . . we do it every morning and every night and sometimes at lunch!  At times, like this ~ have you seen Simon’s Cats?  Simon has his finger on the pulse of a kitty . . .

Jack’s on a bench in front of the windows on the far side of our bed.  I stand at the bedroom door, shoot the ponytail band across the bed, he catches it in mid-air, brings it to me, and goes back to wait (like a hawk) for me to shoot it again.

A young man and his pony tail band . . . purrrrr.

Our lives are so much more fun since he came into the picture . . . he keeps us laughing  all the time.  Here he is at his first Christmas.  We thought he might climb the tree, or tear the ornaments apart, but he was perfect, and was our Jack in the Box, the best present of them all.

He was curious and in on all the decorating . . .

. . . making the whole room prettier and cozier while he’s at it.  Sometimes I marvel that God gave us these little creatures to live with us inside our homes, purr in our ears, rub against our legs, cuddle with us and our children at night.  They are love and it’s love that makes a house a home.

Even taking a bubble bath is more fun with Jack to help!

Cooking is more fun too . . . he usually watches me from the top of the fridge.

This is my favorite photo ever.  Jack’s eyes on that bug!

No bug is safe in our house.

And Jack LOVES ladders.  Joe was painting the kitchen and Jack was helping.

He was so comfortable . . . I think he wished I would put his food dish up there.

Sleeps like a dream on a narrow ledge even with his leg dangling over the side.

But he knew he had to come down to eat . . . and this is how he did it, just walked down the rungs the same way Joe did. (Except Joe doesn’t do it upside-down!)

For a while I thought we might have to leave a ladder up in the house forever.  No matter where the ladder was, even if it’s leaning against a wall, Jack loves it.

I put the ladder up to bring down baskets from the pantry rafters ~ turn around, and there he is!

I love it when he poses photogenically . . . he is a purrfect kitty model.

I don’t even have to say, “OK Jack, be cute for the camera.”  He just does it.  That’s how talented he is.

When I iron, he tries to help me there too.  SO, I must go get the camera!

If I don’t pay attention for a moment, he stretches out a glossy leg and looks like this in front of me and oops, excuse me while I go get the camera!

He’s wonderful when he poses, but he’s a total nut in motion . . .

I love his lunatic eyes

Especially here, with my girlfriend Elizabeth —  I catch some of his best expressions when he’s moving . . . Look at him look at her!

Then he looks at me with eyes that say, “why are you letting her do this to me?”

(I don’t really know, give me that kitty!)

Jack didn’t come to a catless home, my older kitty (guess what her name is) Girl Kitty, was here.  I thought Jack would put a bit more interest in her life, but Girl is not warming up to Jack.  She sees his existence as pointless, awkward, and even disturbing.  She growls when he tries to come near her.

He would love to play with her … but they’ve been more or less like this from the beginning, Jack wants Girl, but Girl does not wish to have Jack, he’s a bit too much for her.   They don’t fight, they just don’t mingle much despite the yearning in Jack’s eyes.  I have now learned that if you have an older kitty and you want to get a new little one, get two kittens — that way your new kitty has someone equally rambunctious to play with and will not torture the older one.

She can just be her imperious self and there could be two little crazies under the table.  Poor little boy . . . but he just turned two . . . to introduce a new kitty, would make all new problems.  We’re good, we’ve figured it out.  But next time, I’ll get two.

 Jack has had to accept this as his brother, the ever-vigilent, wide awake, but not that much fun, Petey.

The seasons change and Jack watches everything from the window.  So far I haven’t let him outside.  I heard that if you live where there’s traffic, you should keep them in for at least the first two years, until they have lost that “chase anything that moves” syndrome where they follow a butterfly or a bee right into the street without a thought.  They’re like babies.  Can’t let them go on their own until they’re older.  Maybe next year, after I’ve thoroughly scared the bejeebers out of his relationship to the great outdoors.  I let Girl out, but she never goes more than ten feet from the house.  Just the way I like it.

When a neighbor cat comes into our yard, Jack will follow it, running madly from window to window to keep it in his sight!

And of course, in all seasons, he’s endlessly entertained by this, we have feeders outside our kitchen windows and we are a very popular bird restaurant!

I want him to get used to NOT EATING birds before I ever let him out.  Would like him to see them as “Normal.”

The hardest thing I ever have to do is say goodbye . . . he watches from the window when I drive away, even when I go to the store!

And his joy is obvious upon my return (that’s his head, upside-down, at the bottom of the screen) and I feel just the same way about him!

Jack has become famous lately — he has fans like “Bentley” reading about him in books~ . . .

He’s recently been immortalized in felted wool by our friend Suzanne at Strawberry Patches Quilt Store . . .

 and yet, despite all that,

 . . . he remains humble and still helps me with the laundry. 

Another reason to have a kitty (or a dog, bunny, bird, hamster, parrot, or fish) is not just because they need us to protect and love them . . .  it’s a two way street . . . we need them.  They are good for our physical and mental health . . . they build strength in the happy gene and even lower blood pressure, that’s how good they are; owning a cat makes you 37% less apt to have a heart attack!  Any information you would ever need to have about owning an animal is available through Google.  Ask and ye shall receive. ♥  

Some people search all their lives for purpose when anyone can see that God served us purpose on a silver platter.  He gave us the earth and all of its magnificent treasure to care for.  That’s our purpose.  He made us strongest of all and that comes with responsibility.  We are the stewards of the air, the oceans and waterfalls, flowers, woods, and homegrown tomatoes. He gave us the profound gift and responsibility to care for critters big and little, lions and elephants, chickens, puppies, chipmunks, snakes, trout, polar bears and kitties, every wonderful living thing that makes up the magical chain of life, including us with each other, the strongest to the weakest amongst us.   If for nothing else, that’s why we’re here, to take care of the beauty that God has given us.  It’s as clear as the mustache on Jack’s face. When I play with my cats, I always find myself saying, “Thank you, God!”  I’m so in love.  If you ever see someone being cruel to an animal I encourage you to call your local Humane Society or even 911 and get that person straightened out!

483 Responses to Kitty Love

  1. Nettie says:

    We are freezing here in Smallville, IN ( actually South Bend). Lots of snow on the ground. Attacking the cabinets sounds like a very good idea. Pictures of Jack…….sooooo adorable! It’s nice to be reminded of what he was like as a kitten……..they grow up so fast! I have a big pot of Taco soup simmering on the stove, a loaf of lemon Rosemary bread in the oven, a good book ready to open and a cozy throw on my lap. Now, just for a nice cup of herbal tea and I’m ready to settle in for awhile. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos…….

  2. Marty Etten says:

    You have such great ideas! The idea of using an address book to organize passwords is a great idea. Would love to have one to do the same. Thanks. Your kitty is adorable and very entertaining with quite the personality. Love reading your website. I have trouble getting anything else done when I start to read. I think I am addicted and in love with every word you write down. Thank you.

  3. Terrie says:

    My husband and I will be living full time in our RV for another year and your lovely address book will be perfect to keep me organized with needed information at my fingertips! I hope I win!!
    I enjoy your blog and great photos!

  4. Sarah Trayer says:

    Hi Susan 🙂
    Since I first saw your artwork and your books, I became a fan. Your use of color and design is so delightful and cheerful. I have enjoyed your newsletter and especially have enjoyed your book – A Fine Romance. We have been to England on a short whirlwind trip, but did not get to the Lake Country which is such a beautiful part of the Lord’s creation. Your book took me there in a wonderful armchair tour. THANK YOU 🙂 Your new address books look great!!! Please enter me for a chance to win them. Thank you for sharing your gifts and bringing joy to us all in so many special ways. With appreciation, Sarah. PS. Thank you for the free downloads which I have printed up and shared.

  5. Judith says:

    When the world is full of bad news, it is a pleasure to escape to your blog, which is full of the good and pleasant things that life is all about.

  6. elizabeth porter says:

    Great organized idea for the address books.

  7. Ashleigh says:

    I never go a couple of days without checking in to your Blog and website. It always makes me smile!
    Animals are what make us human. They work in to our hearts and leave imprints we never forget!


  8. Jo Anne Costello says:

    Boy do I need to get organized, and your address book would really help get me started! 🙂

  9. Rose Wade says:

    I love reading about Jack, sometimes feel that girl kitty may be left out, but I know you love her too. I am commenting on the address books, boy would I love to be organized

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t worry, she’s never left out, I love her dearly, she’s just not as much of a maniac as Jack is! She’s right here next to me now, curled up, my little shadow.

  10. Cheryl Harrod says:

    I love the address book idea for all the passwords. I have mine on small pieces of paper, all clipped together. I likewise didn’t get your clendar this year, as I was late ordering.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry, we’ve never run out of calendars before, this was a first. Good news and bad news. Hope we’ll be more ready next year!

      • Hi Cheryl and Susan,
        I bought an extra calendar this year and would love to pass it on to Cheryl, if I could get her mailing address….not sure how to do this, but she could instant message me via Facebook or send the address via the blog, if she is comfortable doing that.
        Let me know and I will get it into the mail this week.
        Take care,
        Nancye T., Wells, Maine

        • sbranch says:

          What a thoughtful thing for you to do dear Nancye!

          • Thanks for brightening my day, dear Susan…now waiting to hear from Cheryl for her mailing address so that the calendar will be on its way…still snowing here in Wells…planning on watching old movies and making popcorn, once I get my writing assignments done…feeling inspired, thanks to you!


          • sbranch says:

            So sweet of you to offer that Nancye!

  11. Candice OHIO says:

    Kitty Love is wonderful, I have 9 kitties, yes, call me “crazy cat lady”! I have 9 that are inside/outside kitties, now I know you are all calling me “CRAZY”! Their names are: Molly, Lily, Bella, Francis, Fresco, Dale, Walter, Hemi and Sammy.
    Oh, I’m not done:
    PLUS 4 barn kitties, 2 are kittens about 12 weeks old, hoping to find homes for the two kittens, (Any takers?) Someone spoke for them but have never picked them up, so I haven’t named them….yet. I gave them all cuddles this morning in unbelievably freezing cold weather. I have them in a toasty warm little kennel with their Mama (Trippy) and an older “sista from anotha Litta” (Maxi) LOL! I feed them twice a day and they have fresh water in a heated dog bowl and heated pad in their bed. Not spoiled eh? Even if they are barn kitties!
    I have had many cats in my life, they all had/have their own quirky personalities and I have loved them all! Twinkles, Tibby, Raisin, Mouse, Teasel, Jazzmyn, Mia, and Pinky Most lived to a ripe old age, except for a couple that had health issues and passed away from natural causes. Raisin had asthma, Jazzmyn and Teasel had mishaps on the road. And Pinky (he was a Male), I call my phantom cat, I found him when he was a tiny kitten walking down the center of the lane I was driving in on a busy highway, I pulled over on the side of the road, he came straight to me and I brought him home, and we had him for 7-8 years and then he came up missing at the same time my Mother passed away in 2010, so I think he was an angel kitty. He was black and white with a dolphin shape on his back. I still miss him. Nonetheless, all were loved and we have cherished memories and photos and we still get loads of kitty love from our nine!
    Susan, Thank You for sharing Jack and Girl Kitty love with all of your girlfriends!!!

  12. Vicki says:

    I love the address book idea! Please put me in the drawing!

  13. Mary in Colorado says:

    I love you address book idea an even more love the idea that I would have something that came from you! Do you know(and think you probably do )that there are nmany,many people all over the world who for one reason or another are confined to their home…in a wheelchair
    or even in bed who get tremendous pleasure following you and your family in your home,you
    Kitchen,out in your yard,through the woods and down to the shore. They ride the train with
    you and Joe,look out the windows as America flies by and through the gift of your words and
    Pictures get to be a part of your journey to places and have experiences they would otherwise
    not have. You are a gift giver everyday to so many. I am a therapist who works with some
    people whose days are so enriched by your living. Thankyou.

    • sbranch says:

      You can’t imagine how much your words mean . . . I hope I get to take them to lots of fun places in the future. ❌⭕️ Thank you for what you do.

  14. Karen Riley says:

    I need that address book!!! What a great idea. I had to go to but was able to get some of your other books that I think are now out of print. Thanks for your inspiration. I know you are thankful for where you live and your lifestyle. I am so jealous in a good way. You are living the dream I had hoped I would have but things happen so I must bloom where I am planted. Karen

  15. joni says:

    Well, isn’t that just a splendid idea, an address book:) I have a small blank book, but love the address book as it has tabs! Must do!! Of course, yours would fit right in, thanks for the possibility of winning:)

  16. Teri V says:

    Every time I see your kitties, I’m ALMOST ready to run out and bring in a cat. I loosely adopted one that was a stray in the neighborhood- he was the sweetest thing! I will enjoy the kitty stories here and my girlfriends’ cats. I do love your stories of the antics of Jack!

  17. Carla Reeves says:

    Hello Susan,
    Jack is an adorable cat! We have two black/white rescue cats. They are about 1.5 yrs now. And you are right, they certainly entertain each other. We wanted one girl grey tabby after our 16 year old rescue cat went to kitty heaven. My husband had been at home recovering from serious throat cancer surgery and said he needed some kitty love. So we stopped in at the Vets to see if they had any new kitties. (He always has rescue kitties to be adopted). Well there they were, entwined, about 3-4 months old. I picked up Sam and husband picked up Charley. They both started purring like mad and we fell in love. Two black and white boy kitties, who couldn’t be separated because they were bonded! Charley is mostly white with a black mustache (hence his name is Charley Chaplin). He is my husband’s dog, because he follows husband everywhere! Not a lap kitty, but very protective. Sam Adams is my lover. He looks the most like your pillow kitty before the mustache. He’s a brat, curious and must check everything and everyone out. He sleeps on my face at night…purring. We do go through a fur roller a week, because the white fur shows on everything….but worth it for the fur love it brings to our home.
    I have several of your cook-books, one signed by you, purchased by my mom for me. Love everything you write! Would love your address book to replace my tattered password booklet. Hugs to Jack and Girl from us, Charley and Sam.

  18. Elaine says:

    Susan, I remember when you brought Jack home. So fun that you now have his “scrapbook” page.
    The address book idea is so clever. Many of us will imitate it, I’m sure.
    The Gertrude Stein quote is so perfect for today’s world of swirling information. Here’s to “smallville”!

  19. Mary Compton says:

    All your things are so cute. I love my calendars and will have to look for your address book. I definitely need to update? Your kitty’s are adorable, but have you ever had a dog?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, a long time ago, I think dogs, which I LOVE, require me not to go away very often. But I adore them, and take in boarders!

  20. Jeanne says:

    Susan, what a brilliant idea! I chuckled when I read you have yours on
    papers because that is exactly what I do and I keep saying, I must find
    a better way to save these passwords and usernames! Thank you! Stay

  21. Marilyn Taylor Young says:

    Thanks for your Kitty stories, so magical. I always remember how exciting it is to see you at a book signing. Saw you at my purrfect quilt shoppe, Strawberry Patches and again in Cayuous. Just set up your wonderful, and I might add, the last desk calendar available, with all my appointments. By the time you hit your 80s, most of your appointments are with doctors and dentists! LOL and meaning it. I manage a lunch date here and there and new things to decorate the house with. My baby dog Mollee and I have a great life together and we both love reading everything you write. Yes, I read your Blogs to Mollee too, why not?

  22. Linda Hurst says:

    As I read thru your blog, I saw the Christmas ornament box of old glass ornaments made in the USA! I have my mother’s old ornaments in their very taped together boxes, just like yours. They are my treasures! My husband is so very allergic to kitties. I love watching yours!

  23. Rhonda says:

    Love the address book! What a great idea!! Looking forward to getting my passwords organized!

  24. Rhonda says:

    Love the address book! What a great idea!! Looking forward to getting my passwords organized!

  25. Star Johnson says:

    I love your idea about “Passwords” and other important info for
    the computer.
    I had the old address book for telephone numbers. It was quite old and worn out.
    A friend was able to get me your new address book when you were in at the Madonna Inn over a year ago. You autographed it for me making it extra
    special. I am using it still for phone numbers and trades people.
    I love the update on whole story of Jack. He is so cute. I really enjoy when
    you share his latest events or activities.
    Keep writing and sharing your New England winter with us in So. Cal. where
    as you know we don’t get much winter.

  26. Kelly says:

    What a grand idea to use a beautiful address book to save all those precious passwords!

  27. Diana Moore says:

    Love your blog and Kitty stories. So warm and cozy.
    Thank You

  28. andie smith says:

    Love Jack, someday I will have a kitten to go with our two Chihuahuas! And would love a blue address book. Great idea! Thanks. 🙂

  29. Sharon brown says:

    What a fabulous idea. I have to look through my whole list when I need a password. Being alphabetized only makes sense. But who thinks of that when you are just starting to write them down? An then you suddenly have pages of them! Thank you!

  30. Sharon M. says:

    If you could clone Jack I’d wait in line for ever to get one But don’t tell my dog Chester I said that;))
    Love your address book solution. I’ve been doing the same for a few years now and would love a new blue address book to renew & update mine

  31. Mary Jo Gkeason says:

    I have been looking for an address book FOREVER,
    And I would just love yours!

  32. Cecilia Reyes says:

    Would love to have your address books for my internet info. Such a great idea!

  33. Arlene koktavy says:

    Love the idea of Smallville. I’d love to win the address books. Your art is so uplifting and I feel good when I see something Susan Branch. Arlene

  34. Rebecca Britt says:

    I love the address book! I would use mine for my internet information 🙂

  35. Meg Reilly says:

    I too have your out of print address book that is quite worn from many years of use. I was thinking of replacing and have it in my shopping cart.
    Thank you for all your great ideas. I just came back from a cruise and packed a surge protector. I would have never thought of that if I had not read your blog (and seen the pictures). My husband and I would have been fighting for the one outlet!
    Thank you again for sharing your ideas.

  36. Debbie Noble says:

    Happy New Year Susan!
    Thank you for all the beautiful pics of Jack & the Vineyard in winter, now we want to go back at this time of the year. Actually would love to be there all year round.
    I suppose I can’t win the beautiful address book since I’m so far, but I feel thankful cos I got the chance to know you, big Jack & my 2015 calendar from your own hands!

    All my friends, your Spanish fans, already have their calendars. Got them in Amazon.
    Big kiss & hugs

  37. Eileen Hart says:

    Boy could I use one of those address books. My original one is from 1970 when I first got married. It’s a real mess with people who have moved away, passed away, etc. Then I have a tiny one that I keep in my purse which is also falling apart. I don’t have one of those smart phones – I pretty much a dinosaur in that respect. I love, love reading your blog and seeing all of your pictures. You are a real bright spot in my life. Happy New Year!!

  38. dorene schlecht says:

    Using an address book to keep track of websites and charge card info
    is genius!! I’m a retired librarian, so organization has always been #1
    with me. Love your website…a dear friend recommended it to me
    recently and I check it everyday. Wish I could drop in your home and
    have a cup of tea (also love Beatrice Potter). Jack would make me break
    out in hives, but it would be worth it!:-)

  39. Karen Kershis says:

    What a wonderful idea to use your address book for internet websites, passwords, etc. And alphabetized! I have them in no particular order and sometimes I have to go through them all at least twice to find what I am looking for! I would love one of your yellow address books to organize my internet info. Love your blog and all your books!

  40. Frances Rowe says:

    Thanks for the inspiration to get everything clean and organized!!! I would love to have the address book, but would especially love to share one with my sweet friend, Susan T., who introduced me to Susan Branch.

  41. Judy Harvey says:

    Cute kitty! Since I am not a naturally organized person, I never thought of an address book for user names and passwords. Mine are just in random order in a little notebook. You have such a clever idea! I would love to have one. I bought your calendar as a present for my sister, and one for myself.

  42. Linda says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just want to say thank you for all your posts. I find with all the craziness in our world I get worried over things I cannot control. I go back and reread your posts they put me in a place of calmness,beauty and a feeling of happiness.
    I do love your pets and kitchen the most. but when I read your posts a feeling of yesterdays/years come back to me. Thank you for all the time spent writing to us. Your address books are so sweet too.

  43. Tracey Schutz says:

    what a smart idea! I have a small grey colored spiral notebook that I keep my passwords in but it is no fun to write in. Even if I wouldn’t be lucky enough to win one of your address books i’m going to look for one of your cute books and use it for passwords. Love your blog and website! Tracey

  44. Inez says:

    I love that you are also an animal lover. I use that saying whenever I get the chance. You may judge someones heart by his treatment of animals. I also point out, when the ark was built, God commanded to get two of all creatures, not two of all peoples. I enjoy reading your blog when I get the chance. I must tell you, I loved your book, A Fine Romance, and laughed out loud, when Joe was driving, what I believed to be a circle, and screamed. How wonderful.

  45. Dear Susan….
    Thank you so much for the heart touching, delightful story about your darling little Jack Kitty! He really is such a cutie pie! Cats & dogs all have such different amazing little personality’s of their very own. It’s another amazing God thing as I call it. I figured out why I love you Susan and I connect with you so. You truly appreciate and love life just like I do. We have so many of the same interest that it really blows my mind. I too love the write! I have all my life. It’s a gift from God. I am working on my first book. I also love wonderful quotes of life from special people. I love reading, collecting, trying new and old recipes that are tried and true, new and old. I love collecting Cook books from antique stores, gift shops, book stores, yard sales, you name it. I have oodles of them. My cookbooks and recipes from Mama are the most precious of all. And my favorites are your cookbooks! I own four of them now. My son Jesse gave me your Autumn cookbook for Christmas this year. As I opened the pretty wrapped package, right there before my eyes was the cookbook that I have wanted for so long. It touched me so much that right there on Christmas morning I was shedding happy tears in front of everyone! My son looked over joyed as he knew he did well! He told me he had a really hard time finding a copy of your book. It is such a beautifully well done, super creative, piece of pure inspiration and amazing joy! Thank you so much for reprinting that book Susan! I also love little drawings and doodles, just like you! And I love Dogs, & cats and animals period. I don’t own a cat right now and I wish we did. But we do have a big beautiful amazing Siberian Husky names Nakoma! He is our of course our other baby. He is a blue eyed, black & white, and he is a quite a talker! He too is soooo much fun and I Love to photograph him! He is the best company in the world and I love him to pieces! You would just love him. I’m sorry if my comments are too long I can’t help it I am a writer! As for the Address book It’s a hard choice, but I would love to have your pink address book with the doves on the front. We moved for the first time in 18 years, five years ago into a home in the woods here in Minnesota and I never did buy a new address book which I truly need. After my mother & a dear friend passed away two years ago on the same day April 1st both at exactly 9:00am. Two morning doves came that day and stayed on our roof and then later nested our yard. They come back every spring and stay until Fall. It’s another amazing God thing. Thank you Susan for all you do for the world. God Bless You & Your Family! Peace Be With You! Love, & Big Hugs, Heather in Minnesota!

  46. Helen Rusert says:

    What a wonderful use for an unneeded address book. I also wonder how you find so much pleasure in doing what most of us consider “work” such as cleaning cupboards, washing dishes, etc. as always, your blog brings a calmness to my soul. Thank you, Susan.

  47. Becky Binneveld says:

    Reading your blog is my Sunday night present to myself. I recently tried to create my own “address” book for all those infernal names and passwords, but, I wasn’t quite as organized and mine are not alphabetized. I hope I win because my friend would receive the second one and it’s because of her that I know how wonderful
    life is with so many homey ideas from Susan Branch.

  48. Donna says:

    Great idea, Susan! I, too, love to get organized after the New Year….New year, new ideas!

  49. Toni Bauman says:

    Aha–I’ve found the comment box at last ! I’ve been deep in your tale of travels through England and had to, had to,tell you thank you for writing and illustrating and photographing all of the sweet, if wet, moments of your glorious journey. Thank you!!!! We’re seeing our granddaughter safely to a summer program at Oxford this year and while she is deep in her academic adventure, we shall take a drive ourselves. We took both grandchildren several summers ago and followed the Romans throughout out the country. It included automatic transmission, side view mirrors that fold back when struck by intruding hedges and joyously, sunshine. But omigosh, we forgot to take CDs and order pear cider. Never had pear cider. And most importantly, visit the land of Beatrix Potter..did I say thank you ? ????Thank you. Ever so much. Toni

    • sbranch says:

      “Sweet, but wet. . .” ha ha ha! I’m so glad you enjoyed A Fine Romance . . . I love the plans you have for your next trip! Fold back side-view mirrors ~ brilliant!

  50. Elizabeth K. says:

    The only thing better than an address book is another to give to a dear friend. We’re all in this life together; and helping each other is the way to live happily ever after.
    You’re simply the best, Susan! Happy New and organized Year from Chilly Chilmark,

  51. Mickie Bennett says:

    What a wonderful idea you have for these address books. To keep information in there that would help pay bills etc. for someone you are watching over or taking care of. I keep websites, blogs and stores I like on index cards. Your address books would be so much easier to organize. You never cease to amaze me.
    Happy New Year to you Susan and your entire family.

  52. Melisa Burke says:


    I just found your blog. I know I will enjoy reading it. I have loved your books for a long time now. What beauty they contain!!! My daughter and I loved reading through them together over and over again. We always glean a new idea. I have to tell you that I had never thought to use an old quilt for a table cloth until I read it in your books. This past Thanksgiving, I placed my great-great grandmother’s quilt on our dining room table (and prayed that no one would spill a cup of coffee on it!!) It was so lovely and added such a memorable touch to my holiday. Thank you again.


  53. Jeanne Marie says:

    I’ve used the original phone book for years. Time for a new one!

  54. Barbara says:

    I love this e-mail with the fireplace, comments, books, cat pictures and the lovely winter scene.

    You are right gettinig to much usless information. We have lost that lovely warm home feeling America use to have. We need more books like Dick and Jane to read out children. I love all of your books and have most of the. I give them to my family and friends as gifts. We need more web-sites with pictures and information like yourss. I can hardly wait for your e-mails to come. They are like a real step back in time with that warm homey feeling. Love the two books. I often wish I could spend some time at your home because it is so much me. It would make a wonderful Bed and Breakfast Retreat.

    The youth of today will never have the wonderful fond memories like we have. Your books give those feelings and memories back.

    Keep those e-mails and memories coming,


  55. Laurette May says:

    Ran across your blog several years ago. Love your illustrations and common sense text.
    Since my husband died in October, your blog has been a sense of comfort. Wishing you a great 2015!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m happy to hear that Laurette. It must be a very hard thing to get used to, I can’t even imagine. All my best to you. xoxo

  56. We love you Susan and all of your brilliant ideas. Think I am going to go clean all of my glasses now…

  57. Susan says:

    We already had two 10 year old kitties but were going through a very difficult family situation when we spotted a beautiful little boy kitty for adoption in our local pet store. He rubbed his head on the glass for us and then kept talking and making total eye contact with us through the cage and we fell in love with him and took him home. We now call him our “angel” cat because he has given us so much love and comfort. Thank you for a beautiful piece on your Jack….our little angel cat is also called Jack!

  58. Jane Alexander says:

    My old address book recently lost its back cover, so I have a new one ready to go. I love your idea, but my new one will have addresses and phone numbers in it at the beginning.
    Please enter my name in the drawing!
    Can’t wait to send the blog to some friends. You are an inspiration to me, and 1000’s of others with your words and photos, and thoughts. May God’s richest blessing continue to fall upon you and your husband and kitties.
    We love you like our own family, after reading your blogs for a long time.

  59. Valerie Burrows says:

    I had one cat, Sid, for many years and just shy of her 20th birthday a kitty showed up in my yard barefoot and pregnant! She had three perfect kitties. Sid passed away shortly after they were born so I kept the whole family! I think they were sent to me to ease the pain of losing Sid. Now I have mama cat, Noel and her kids…Scout, Wyatt and Tabitha. I also adopted two more, Chloe and Winston, who were born to ferals in the neighborhood. And I feed two others, Cioppino and Angus, who were born to ferals in my parent’s yard 11 years ago. They only come for dinner at night. There’s truly nothing like the personalities and love from kitties 🙂

  60. Marlene Serwinek says:

    Your new internet address book looks great! I use the inside of one of my kitchen cabinets as a sort of “filing system” where I have little pieces of paper taped inside the door with all sorts of information, like websites and phone numbers. But there are so many, and they’re so old, it’s not working any longer. I’ll have to try this idea you’ve made!

  61. Cindy Hockensmith says:

    Your blog makes us happy. It’s refreshing, happy, comforting, and everything good in this world. Thanks for taking the time to make others happy.
    Your greatest fans, Twins Cindy and Lindy

  62. Janyce Beyer says:

    Our little kitties say that I need to get organized and an address book would be a wonderful start! Thank you!

  63. Ann Solomon says:

    I have always had a dog and cats were an unknown to me. I always read your accounts of Jack and his antics and I’ve come to love cats, too. Your tales of his doings are so filled with your love and total enjoyment of his special personality. I understand, too, about Girl Kitty. Friends who have more than one cat have shown me how totally different they can be from each other. I see that some cats are, indeed, like Girl Kitty. They are just in their own place. Other cats are like Jack. They interact with people and create a special bond because of that. You are very lucky to have Jack and to show people that not all cats are indifferent to people. Some are very interactive and loving. What a delight he is.

  64. Celinda says:

    At last someone has made a move in the direction of saving email addresses. I thought I was the only one who had that problem. Thanks 🙂

  65. Amy Lee says:

    I have a little book I do keep my passwords and such in but your idea of an address book is so much better. I’d live to win one to start this year off re-organizing my address book and my password book.
    I really love getting your newsletters, they make my day!

  66. Jane P S in AZ says:

    Hi Susan!

    Once again you have a wonderful idea to share with all of us. Thank you!! Love the stories and photos of your kitties and the birds at your feeders. Beautiful!!

  67. Terry says:

    I have been searching for a lovely new address book…wish that these were not out of print!

  68. Judith Mellenthien says:

    You have such a neat idea of using the address book to organize your passwords. My passwords are written on pieces of paper and not alphabetized so I need to do this. Thank you so much for sharing your stories about the kittens with us. They are so cute and Jack is such a dear.

  69. Carol Cooley says:

    Hello Susan Branch! Love your books and have most of them! We too just got a new kitty. She brings so much love to our “empty nest”! Her name is Princess Lala. Such a sweetie! I keep my web addresses in a small notebook…it’s efficient but not nearly as cute as your yellow address book! Maybe that could be a new item from Susan Branch in the near future?
    Well, put me in the drawing, and I’ll hope to win!

  70. Neilann Thomas says:

    My sister in law forwarded me your blog one day, which I had no idea was around. How could you not be happy reading about trips to England and seeing pictures of your beautiful home and pets! I have thoroughly enjoyed escaping this awful winter into your home! If I win the two address books, I will send one to my sister in law as thanks for sharing you with me !

  71. Helen says:

    Dear Susan,
    You love your kitties like I love mine, and you are right! What would life be without a kitty by ones side. We adopted a stray a year and half ago, beautiful tabby and she eventually brought her four babies with her. They are a part of our family and have brought so much enjoyment and laughter to our house. I just couldn’t send them off to foster homes and break up the family. They each have their own wonderful personalities! It is a daily routine for my daughter to throw the mice on the wall and they try to catch them. Love your Jack!

  72. Carisa says:

    Susan, you read my mind! I was just thinking that you should te-tell the darling story if how Jack came to be part of your family. I hope you know how adorable we all find him. No update is complete without a little photo of Jack peeking out in one if the photos☺️
    Of course, I would put the address books to good use, if Vanna should draw me as the lucky winner. I adore anything that has your artistic handiwork adorning it! Happy 2015! I’ve got to go now and check out my new Emma Bridgewater catalog that arrived today

  73. Holly Jo says:

    You inspire me Susan. I have been traveling the Lower 48 with my husband in a RV the last two months, trying to avoid the long dark winter in Alaska.
    My 12 year, 8 month, and 3 days old Rottie passed away Dec. 5th in Seaside, Oregon, while we were on our travels. Such a heartbreaking time for my husband and I. We have put his ashes in an old make up luggage box that someone decoupage with Mary Engelbreit pictures. My husband says we can not get another dog. It was too heartbreaking, and they don’t live long enough. Now I read about Jack and I think….maybe my husband and I can become cat people. Maybe we can find a cat that fetches. You inspire me.

    • sbranch says:

      There are never enough years for our beloved pets . . .I’m so sorry for your loss. But I agree, that is something else I like about cats, they can easily go 20 years and more. But mine do not come when they are called ~ remember that if you’ll be traveling, some kitties do, but mine definitely do not . . . when we brought Girl Kitty across country, she loved the ride, and it was wonderful to have her, but we were always careful to get her back into her box before we ever opened the door, even at a gas station. A little kitten to love would be wonderful.

  74. Phyllis says:

    I need all the help I can get with organization ! Love reading your blog. It is always uplifting and always makes me smile.

  75. Debbie Palmiscno says:

    I like all things Susan Branch! These address books are no exception.

  76. Linda Kimsal says:

    As I sit here, with my tattered and worn sheets of paper, I think what a wonderful idea…use an address book. Duh, one a simple, great idea. That is what I love about your blog!! Great ideas that are easy and simple to implement. Also loved the story of Jack. One day, I will be brave enough to send you the story of our Tiger. I wrote it right after he went to be with the other angels. No one has ever seen it but I think you would enjoy it. Now we cat sit whenever we can. In fact, we are waiting for our friend to bring their cat over for a 3 week visit. We can’t wait to spoil her!! Keep up those great ideas coming.

  77. Adele says:

    Hi Susan, It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to jump in to say “hi”. Love Jack and the loved filled stories you share with us. I think I was the proud owner of Jack’s great great grandpa. Growing up I had a cat identical to the markings on Jack. I have to find a picture and post it for you. My cat’s name was Mr. J. L. Sullivan. Attitude written all over my cat. The mannerisms are so similar that the stories and photos you share of Jack, are dear to my heart. It brings such fond memories flooding my memory banks. Please keeping sharing the photos and stories with us. As for the address books, what a great idea. I had bought a big address book from a garage sale and it was perfect to use as my main cookbook. I put all my top notch favorite recipes in that book, that I either developed or found tasty over the years. I use the letters the same way you do. “a” for apple recipes, “b” for bread, etc. Repurposing is the way to go. Thank you for sharing with us the great ideas. Stay warm and be well, Adele from the very cold State of Michigan.

  78. Kathy Fletcher says:

    I would dearly love to win but i know its not likely with so many of us wanting to win. But – i think the idea of putting everything like that in an address book is a terrific idea……thank you for that. I hope you are having some good weather up there- here in Kentucky it can’t make up its mind if it is winter or spring or fall – but definitely not summer.
    I love my Susan Branch Blogs- they always make my day so much brighter….
    so thank you for all your hard work and I can’t wait until your next book comes out…..have a blessed day!@!@! We ALL love you dearly!@!@!

  79. Helen says:

    Dear Susan:
    I know you probably already know this but I hope that Jack doesn’t like to eat the pony tail holders, as some kitties have done that. We have to watch our long haired kitty Fluffy as she sometimes likes to chew on stuff laying on floor.

    • sbranch says:

      He doesn’t eat them, he just catches them and brings them to me. I watch him pretty closely, but so far string is his only temptation, so I watch that I don’t leave any around.

  80. Mary Ann now in Knoxville says:

    I love to read about Jack and dear Girl Kitty…..all the time! Right now we are kitty-less; our beautiful, sweet kitty passed away in October. My heart still aches for her. We were so fortunate to have her in our lives for almost 20 years. Cats have lived with us for at least 33 years. I love, love, love cats so it’s been difficult not to have a little furry sweetie pie with us.
    But 8 years ago we found another love – a mini-poodle joined the 3 cats we had and he is the most wonderful, loveable, adorable, sweetest puppy in the world. At 14 lbs he is also a fierce protector and guardian of our domain!
    I know there’s another kitty waiting for me in the near future. But in the meantime I’ll enjoy reading about yours. Thank you for sharing.

  81. Gini Gould says:

    The last piece of the puzzle fits: it’s Smallville!! It’s settled that my imagined hollow stump bungalow (Sequoia tree), is a tiny home in Smallville; I’m pretty sure of that! Since childhood, I love to escape to this little home when the world gets too much for me. And, you’re the only one I’ve ever told except for my husband, of course. Please keep it a secret just between the two of us! The crackling fireplace, our 3 kittens curled up around me, birds at the feeder, strong blizzard-like winds, snow and sleet (the world attempting to get inside), your always faithful Musica, a hot cup of chocolate with a tiny tad of goodies to munch, and often a special friend sipping along with me. I’m transformed! I love to go there. Come visit me, Susan! I’d love that! We would never run out of things to share. Yes, I must be in your little town of Smallville, where the friendly people there are the friendliest!

  82. Gail Marshall says:

    Such a delight to read your blog.
    It was extra special this time since you sent it out
    On my birthday.
    I love all the same things that make you happy.
    I have all your books and love re reading them.
    I have also been reading all of Gladys Tabers books
    And they have brought such joy.
    I also had a cat much like your girl cat. She was Miss
    Kitty. She was a wonderful and lovable kitty.
    Keep your blogs coming. I know they just make my
    Day. Can’t wait for your next book too.
    Hugs G

  83. Elaine Guthrie says:

    Winter is such a beautiful time of year and one in which to get organized inside the house. Recently retired and trying to get things in order-would love your address book. My cat Caesar (14yrsold) loves that I am home during the day now. Thank you for your blog.

  84. Mary Dersch says:

    You capture your life and animals so beautifully. Thank you. mary

  85. Linda Lepage says:

    I don’t know if I’m too late for the drawing, but I would LOVE a new address book! And I know my mom would LOVE one too! Every January I get the organizer bug and just wanna CLEAN SWEEP everything out! And start all over!
    Love your posts! hugzzzzzzzzzz

  86. Alice says:

    Thanks for sharing your time, talent, and treasure, Susan!!

    What a delight to receive your blog today in sunshiny Rochester, NY where the brilliance outdoors belies the just barely double-digit temperatures. It’s simply lovely to be retired and able to stay indoors keeping busy with all sorts of enjoyable activities.

    Take good care! Alice

  87. Betty Hummel says:

    So enjoy your blog and especially enjoyed the Valentine pictures. How fun a tea party with my sister would be with that lovely teapot shared from a loving heart. Your blog is a Joy!

  88. Terri Landowski says:

    I came across your website several years ago in the snowy month of December. During that first visit I vividly remember snowy scenes of your outdoor yard and neighborhood, taken from inside your home. The warm, yellow lighting of your kitchen table and holiday decorations all touched nerves within me. I have been intrigued with the daily goings on of your life. I never knew of GLADYS TABOR. You opened that door for me as well. So now your postings are a regular treat that I look forward to. I have two cats…Mickie and Louie and I automatically loved yours as well. Thanks for all you do for so many by sharing.
    Terri in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

  89. mary surchek says:

    all those passwords/addresses to remember drive me bonkers so your suggestion of a beautiful address book really appealed to me.

  90. Florence Stamos says:

    Thank you Susan for the sweet.positive messages!

  91. Barbara says:

    Susan: I just discovered your wonderful world around October last year. Where have I been all this time? I love your artwork, your writing, and your Kitty stories. I have starting collecting your books and you reminded me of an old favorite – Gladys Taber. I used to read her column in my mother’s magazine (I think it was Womans’ Day) It was my favorite part of the magazine, as I had no interest in cooking at age 8. I gave myself a Christmas gift of two of her books and treat myself to a cup of tea and some of her wonderful stories when I want to feel cozy and content. You both have that talent – please continue your wonderful work!

  92. Mary Ellen Padula says:

    I wish the whole world had your positive attitude! <3

  93. Diane Wilson says:

    I love your triple Valentine treat giveaway. Any one of them would be wonderful, but all three are the ultimate delight. Love your blog and your love of Smallville and your sweet kitties! I just began the joyful journey of owning a kitty who chose to come live with us. His name is Cooper and he is a sweetheart. Aren’t they all?

  94. Joan kotvas says:

    Great idea for address book. Just bought 2015 calendar. Love it. Joan

  95. Karen Harris says:

    I have admired your work for years, but have just now found your blog! Lucky me. <3 I love your kitties. This year, Santa brought all three of our kitties their own Ikea Beds. Who cares if they were designed with dolls in mind? My soon-to-be-a-vet daughter has begun to personalize and decorate them. The cats love them.

    Please enter me in your drawing. I would be tickled pink to have Vanna choose my entry!

    Karen in Washington State

  96. Rachel Ramos says:

    I get so very excited EVERY time i visit your blog., it makes me giddy, puts a huge smile on my face & heart . Thank you for brightening all my days! You have got me thinking Valentine tea parties now and that is super exciting!!

    Would you pretty please enter me in your next give-a-way.

    Thank you, xoxo
    Rachel in Las Vegas, Nevada

  97. Rhonda says:

    I love reading your blogs! Your writings make me feel as though I right there at “The Vineyard”. Hope I get lucky and win the goodies!

  98. Connie Buechi says:

    What a charming way to get organized :-)!

  99. Gail connelly says:

    Your kitty is quite a character, our cat Mitch is very much like that. The fun never ends.

  100. Patty Slinkard says:

    Hi Susan,

    Hope I am not too late to register for the address books. I just love everything about your website and blog. I have followed you for years.

    I also have purchased so many fun and lovely things you design, not to mention
    every year your calendar brightens up my kitchen.

    God Bless You,

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