Remembering ChauncieMarie, French Matriarch of the Wonderpurr Gang

ChauncieMarie, the French matriarch of the Wonderpurr Gang, who epitomized a joyous, exuberant and stylish influence over her adopted bourgeois family, has died. While she preferred to keep her age a mystery, it is believed she was eight months shy of celebrating her 20th anniversaire.

Though not inclined to speak of her past, a surprise dinner of mackerel to celebrate her tenth year with her forever family had her reminiscing about how she’d once been filled with too much joie de vivre that led her into the arms of a handsome but homeless rogue by the name of LePark. 

Without going into detail, she’d survived by begging and stealing, until she found mercy from a family who gave her a small cardboard pied-à-terre. The family called her Chauncy, thinking she was a boy – a rather fat boy as by then she was clearly enceinte with twin girls. 

Though grateful to them for saving her life, she knew she could not stay, especially when they allowed their little boys to name her daughters Bucket and Barney. Quelle horreur!

Freshly arrived at what would become her Forever Home,
ChauncieMarie loved shoes, especially Christian Louboutin.
Sadly, her new family preferred cheap rubber flipflops.
Zut alors!

When her petites filles were on their way to becoming young ladies, albeit little heathens as they loved to hunt mice in the adjacent field (clearly, they’d inherited their father’s proletariat DNA) the mysterious French girl Chauncy bid them adieu and set out to make a better life for herself. She did not have to go far. The chateau across the road recognized her as a well-heeled aristocrat with a mysterious past and changed her name to ChauncieMarie.

Struck that her adopted family desperately needed refinement, ChauncieMarie flicked back her left ear in what would become her trademark display of cultured elegance ala a feathery fascinator and went to work. For the next seventeen years she taught us that each day is a gift to celebrate, no matter what maladies plague your aging body. She loved her brothers and sisters without judgment, and upon retiring to Florida, spent her final years basking in sunshine.

On June 11TH, upon murmuring ‘Une vie honorable es tune vie éternelle’ – An honorable life is an eternal life - ChauncieMarie gained her heavenly wings. She is deeply missed.

Celebrating Dori on her Birthday


We at It's a Wonderpurr Life are celebrating our beautiful Dori today on her birthday.

Dori arrived in our Southaven, Mississippi yard at 3 months old on a cold winter night shortly before we left to drive up to Michigan for Christmas. At the time I thought it was just one stray, a black female with a bad eye. I told my fabulous pet sitter, Michelle, to feed her while I was away.

When I returned a week later, Annie the stray had brought her entire family - baby daddy Nikolas, two black panther sons and twin tabby girls. 

While the parents were sweet and tame, the kittens were WILD and scared the hekk out of me with their hissing and spitting. But I caught them all and kept them in an upstairs bedroom throughout the winter while I worked to simmer them down in order to be adopted.

Almost immediately I knew the one tabby girl had to be removed from the others. She was very sweet and never once tried to murder me with her mittens. She was so pretty with such a delicate feminine face. Ray started calling her his little peanut. Her twin was cute, but in a tomboy kind of way.

I put the family on Pet Finders, and right away there was interest in Dori. But when Ray found out his little peanut could be adopted, he said NO! To be honest I was relieved even though at the time we had around nine or ten ex-strays living with us. 

So Dori was officially adopted, and we also kept her daddy, Nikolas, who truly was the best daddy I've ever met. He loved his kittens and played with them all the time. I recall dragged a rug around the cat room for Nikolas to surf on, with the kittens jumping on to ride with him. To this day Nik is still a very sweet guy, and rooms with our FIV+ tabby Chevy. They were Garage Bandmates with Jesse until we moved to Florida and Jesse was kicked out of the band after losing his teeth to stomititis.

We cannot imagine our home without Dori. She has a sweet, spunky spirit, and greets every day with Joy. I especially cherish hearing her squeals of delight upon finding her precious Dolly Meow (who is constantly being lost under furniture or inside closets), or when she snuggles with me at night, waking me every now and then to pat my face and lick my cheek. Who needs REM sleep when you have the sweetest little girl reminding you that life is truly Wonderpurr, even with a dozen plus cats.

Happy Birthday, Dori! You are the true inspurration for It's a Wonderpurr Life.

Thankful Thursday Blog Hop: My Life is Wonderpurr


Left - Annie, Top - Patsy, Right - Nikolas, Bottom - Dori

Hi evfurryone, this is Dori. *wavy paws* Today I'm joining Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

It's All Fun and Games Until the Kitten Grows Up



: Welcome to Kick the Litter, a new feature here on It’s a Wonderpurr Life where members of our family, comprised of cats from varying backgrounds, generations, and breeds, gather each week to mix humor with intelligent debate over Hot Topics that pertain to not only us, but to cats in general all over the world. Hi evfurrybuddy, I’m yoor host, Dori, the Baba Wawa of the cat blogging world. *wavy paws*

: Each week we choose our topics with the intention of educating human caretakers, many of whom have the wrong impression about caring for cats. Sadly, it’s an uphill battle, but we hope our debates will bring awareness and open dialogues among humans to benefit us all. Today’s Hot Topic is one that hits home with our family.


Over the past few weeks we’ve heard several conversations between my parents over someone they know who got rid of their cat or dog because it grew into something that didn’t fit into the life they envisioned with their pet.

OPIE: I hate that word. Pet. It makes us sound like we’re possessions. Owned, like a lamp or a couch.

An Adoption Controversy – Shelter vs Breeder

DORI: Welcome evfurrybuddy to our fourth episode of Kick the Litter, a brand-new feature here on It’s a Wonderpurr Life where members of the Wonderpurr Gang, comprised of cats from varying backgrounds, generations, and breeds, gather each week to mix humor with intelligent debate over Hot Topics that pertain to not only us, but to cats in general all over the world. 

I’m yoor host, Dori, and I will be today’s meowderator for today’s Hot Topic.

Adopting a Purebred Over a Shelter Kitty

DORI: Today’s Hot Topic really set fire under our tails, and not because it’s unseasonably warm here in FloryDa. Out of 100+ rescues our momma has only once adopted a purebred from a breeder. (Looks at Rabbit with disapproval).

: What? It’s not my fault I’m a pricey pussycat. I didn’t ask to be born. Joining me in this severely one-sided debate is my big brofur Herman who is a mystery mix of Turkish Van and probably some kind of Purina breed.

FIV-Positive Cats Deserve a Forever Home Too


DORI: Welcome everybuddy to another episode of Kick the Litter, a brand-new feature here on It’s a Wonderpurr Life where members of my family, comprised of cats from varying backgrounds, generations, and breeds, gather each week to mix humor with intelligent debate over Hot Topics that pertain to not only us, but to cats in general all over the world.

We hope by daring to meow about these risky topics we will educate humans who sadly are still living in the Dark Ages when it comes to cats.

Today's Hot Topic up for discussion is:


Joining me today are Elly, Chevy and my daddy, Nikolas. One out of the three is not positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, otherwise known as FIV+. By looking at their faces, care to guess which one?

ELLY: Hi, I’m Elly. Tomorrow is my sixth Gotchversary. Yes, tomorrow February 17th. When I arrived in the yard of my future Forever Home, I was a little over a year old. I had made friends with a handsome mancat named Noah who told me he knew where I could find food. I’d been living in a colony for a while, but that was a scary place. So, I followed Noah to a yard that smelled of raccoons and dog food. I thought Noah maybe had lost his mind, but he looked expectantly at the house, and soon a lady came out with kitty food and fresh water. She was so nice, and I wasn’t afraid of her at all. A couple days later she took me to a doctor so I could be adopted. That’s when she got the bad news. I was FIV+.

The Gift of Rescue

We at It's a Wonderpurr Life have a special relationship with homeless cats and their secret histories. 
Over time some of the histories become obvious, like KC who had such a fear of people, he avoided me for two years while living in my backyard. He would leave every time I stepped outside to feed him. I used a live trap to have him neutered, but the vet staff never told me he wasn't feral. So I released him. And it took almost two more years before I realized he wasn't feral, but had lost his faith in humanity.

The Worst Halloween Ever

handsome tabby cat looking into camera

October 31, 2010. The day my nightmare as a Cat Mom came true.

Up front let me say, I have gone around in circles on whether or not to post this, mostly because I have strived to publish nothing but happy cat humor across all my social media accounts. However, my experience as a cat rescuer sometimes hands me lessons that have sad endings, and yet they provide me with an insight on what to watch for with future rescues.

Kenny was one of those sad lessons that I continue to ache over, even twelve years later. This is his story.

Dori's Birthday Featuring Entries From Her Adoption Diary

Hi evfurrybuddy, it’s me, Dori. *wavy paws* Guess what? Yesterday I celebrated my birthday! Nooo, I’m not wevealing how old I am cuz us wimmen need to keep some mystery as we age. 

I got lots of presents. My my favorite is a soft cushion snuggled between Momma and Daddy’s pillows where I sleep at night. I also got a small soft pink blanket with poky dots, and a little pink ball. And I got a sweater dwess with a plaid skirt. I will meowdel for yoo.

I also got Friskies Cheesy treats - a huge bag but I have to share with my fursibs. And I got a package of Churu's that I really love a lot. So I had a nice day celebrating me.

Recently my momma was purging an enormous box of papers in her office, and she came across my baby diary kept during the first months after I was rescued. I've given purrmission for her to publish the first month here for yoor viewing enjoyment.

Princess Bed Hog

Written by Hans Christian Andersen, The Princess and the Pea is a fairytale that makes even modern royalty look undemanding.

It tells the tale of an incredibly picky prince who was having trouble finding himself a bride. 

Actually he knew who he wanted for his bride but she was a married woman who chain-smoked, and frankly she thought the whole idea of being under a microscope as the wife of the future king was rubbish.

Oh wait. That was a more recent prince. 

Anyway, he was forced to look far and wide… rather, told his staff to look far and wide… yet continuously found himself paired with women who he didn’t believe were princesses because of things like bad table manners or being too thin. Or too fat. 

Woody Boyd - a Real Yankee Doodle Dandy

Celebrating the memory of the incredible Woody Boyd, a cockatiel born on the Fourth of July 1987.

In hindsight I should have called him Yankee Doodle.

We adopted Woody from a not-professional breeder cuz we were young n stoopid. But he was so sweet and incredibly smart.

He came to live with us maybe around 12 weeks of age. I had him saying his first word inside a week: Pretty. Which morphed into Pretty Pretty Pretty which morphed into Pretty Boy.

He learned his name. He called himself Woodo. “Hello Woodo” he would say into a mirror.

I recall saying “I don’t believe it” to him. He flew to my shoulder and pressed his beak to my mouth, his way of wanting to learn. He picked up that phrase incredibly fast and used it a lot.

Celebrating ChauncieMarie at 17


This week our lovely French girl, ChauncieMarie, turned 17.

She lived in the field surrounding our neighborhood in Mississippi when we moved there in 2006. All the homes were brand new, and as each family moved in, we collectively became a larger family, making memories often on the driveways after work accompanied by wine and laughter.

Almost immediately word got out that a community of cats lived nearby, as they approached each homeowner for handouts. Of course I was a sucker for anyone homeless, and left out kibble and fresh water for the needy. And, of course, that brought in the gang of raccoons, but that's another story.

I'd moved to Southaven with nine cats from Kentucky. There had been a barn on the corner where too many unwanted cats congregated, and I adopted those who found me, among them Herman.

Proud of my Black Cat DNA

Hi evfurryone. It's me, Dori! *wavy paws* Sorry I didn't post this on Tuesday, but my brofur Wabbit was wurking his Golden AssWabbit Awards, and if I posted then the pals who visited our blog to vote would get confoozed. 

Anyway! Did yoo know I have Black Cat DNA? It's true!

My momma was black and beeUteeful. Her name is Annie. On a cold Decempurr night, she arrived on her own to my future forever home's backyard, looking for food and shelter for her family, comprised of her husband, and four 2-month-old kittens. She found raccoon noms, but when my future Meowmy saw her, she put out special kitteh noms. 

Alas, my future pawrents were leaving the next morning to spend Christmas in Michigan. Momma told our sitter, Michelle, to leave extra noms out for Annie. So when Momma returned, not only did she see Annie, but she also met the rest of us!

My daddy, Nikolas:

Celebrating Caffeine Candy

Five years ago on June 15th, Candy joined the Wonderpurr Gang. She arrived as a skinny year-old calico, brought to me by my beloved Noah, a beautiful, semi-feral yard panther who later brought us Elly before he passed from hidden illnesses.

Caffeine Candy got her nickname when she took to licking the Keurig nozzle after I made morning coffee. Thankfully she kicked the habit, and I no longer need to disinfect before I have my brew.

When Candy first joined our family, I could tell she had been homeless for awhile, but clearly she once knew the comforts of indoor living. She easily adapted to the resident members of the Gang, particularly Dori, who was thrilled to have a girlfriend near her age to play with. 

The first year with us flew by with little drama. Candy ate like a voracious dog, cleaning her plate, along with whatever crumbs she found on other plates. It didn't take long before the skinny girl filled out to the point where we started calling her Bootilicious. Indeed, she had an ample bottom.

Dori thrived having Candy as her gal pal. They slept together, chased and played with each other. Where you would see one, you'd see another. But then just seven months later, Noah returned with a tiny black yearling to my yard. It struck me that Noah understood that these girls needed a safe place from the other feral cats in the neighborhood, and that I would help them. So, Elly joined our family. It didn't
occur to me that Elly would cause a problem, as she was tiny and sweet, and had an easygoing personality. But Dori did not like her right from the start. Especially because Candy acted like she knew Elly, and they already had a tight bond. It was almost like a cat colony reunion between the two of them, and unfortunately Dori was the odd girl out. If there is one thing I've learned about Dori, she takes it pretty hard when she's not the apple of someone's eye, i.e. Candy, Herman, Frank. So after Elly joined us, Dori acted up a little, hissing at Elly as well as her former BFF Candy. Dori also holds a grudge, because to this day, she does not like Elly, and rarely allows Candy the privilege of giving her an ear bath.

Regardless, Candy was a delightful member of our household, an easy friend to all. Highly photogenic, I loved catching her in comfortable poses while she enjoyed a Wonderpurr Life as an indoor cat. I felt like she was an Old Soul, able to reassure everyone around her with an almost Zen-like calmness. That calmness came in handy when Blogpaws Kansas City arrived and I had plans for Dori to attend. From experience taking Dori to the vet where she would curl into a tight ball and the vet would have to use an impressive amount of strength to pry her legs from her body, I knew she would spend the week frightened and miserable. Enter Candy. Like a goat soothing a thoroughbred race horse, Candy would ease Dori's fears.                                                                                                                                              Sure enough, Dori did well during the drive from Memphis to Kansas City, but once we entered the hotel room, she found a way to squeeze between the bed and wall, and that's where she stayed for a couple days. Meanwhile I had dozens of people asking me where Dori was. I felt nekked not having a cat to push around in a stroller. After all, Herman had attended Blogpaws several times before I gave him permission to retire. The final Blogpaws we went to in Myrtle Beach, he clearly was miserable and preferred to be left in the hotel room.

Anyway, I put Candy in the stroller, and pushed her around the Brands Hall. I even unzipped the stroller, and she crawled out to explore Kate Benjamin's Cat Lounge. I was very surprised by how at-ease she was meeting strangers. I recall her gaze sweeping the room, her head turning this way and that as she took in the dogs, the sights, the smells, and the number of people who stopped to say hello and pet her. She took everything in stride. I was so very proud of her. In fact, I really wanted to take her to the final day breakfast, but Dori still had not made an appearance, so Candy was left in the room, and Dori was taken to the breakfast. And like her performances at the vet, she curled into a tight ball and glowered at everyone from safely under the blankets.
Shortly before we moved from Memphis to Florida, I adopted the sad tabby who had sheltered in my yard for a couple years, always leaving before I had a chance to reassure I wouldn't harm him. It took a raccoon named Honeybear that he had befriended to convince him that I was okay. Seriously, I'd watched him for months try to rub up against my raccoons, who all graciously did not rip him to shreds. It was evident the tabby had lots of love to give, but no one to give it to. I so wanted to adopt him, but it took me all winter to coax him into not running when I stepped outside to feed him. Long story short, after I brought K.C. indoors, Candy claimed him. She told him he would be her boyfriend, and he certainly didn't argue. Their romance caught fire and has yet to burn out.

They became so close, so fast, that I ultimately realized that Candy had not known Elly previous to joining our household. This was just Candy's nature. She has a huge heart, and wants to reassure those around her that they should relax and enjoy being Rescued. Kevin Coopurr aka K.C. definitely benefitted from having Candy take him under her Zen-like influence. He easily transitioned from a stray with numerous fears and hang-ups, to a joyful, chill kind-of-guy that all the Wonderpurr girls fell in love with. Even Dori. I put my bonded Romeo and Juliet together in the same carrier when we moved to Florida, and of all the cats, Candy and K.C. were the least traumatized. Upon leaving their carrier, they walked around the house like newlyweds, picking out the places they would set up housekeeping.

A year after moving to Florida, Candy is loving life, with whatever memories she may have had of her past existence as a scrawny stray far behind her. She sleeps curled up each night in K.C.'s arms, and lounges on the Catio with her beloved never far from her side. While all of the Wonderpurr Gang has embraced Candy, it is clear to me that K.C. has been the ultimate benefactor of whatever nucleus of calm acceptance Candy possesses. I only recently came to the realization that I may have physically brought K.C. in out of the cold, but it was Candy who actually rescued him from his traumatized life. To put it simply: he adores her with every cell in his being.


I can't believe it's only been five years since I brought Candy into my home. I feel like she's been here forever. And while some of my cats make even a year seem like Forever (looking at you AssRabbit) with Candy, I pray that she continues to enjoy a long and healthy existence, because I cannot imagine Life without her.

Happy Birthday, Caffeine Candy. We all feel Blessed to know you.

Celebrating National Pet Day - Truly It's a Wonderpurr Life

Today everyone is celebrating National Pet Day. I don't know about yoor house, but at my house EVERY DAY is NATIONAL PET DAY.

We love posing for selfies so today we are featuring several members of the Wonderpurr Gang that actually tolerate our momanager aka pawpawrazzi's camera in our faces.

The first featured is our beloved leader, Hwermie, aka Herman TattleCat. Hwermie has enjoyed an illustrious career as Sherlock Herms, a Purranormal Detective. He's traveled extensively to far away places like Michigan, Smokey Mountains Tennessee, Nashville, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Las Vegas (he actually flew next to our mom in the plane to Vegas where he walked the red carpet at Blogpaws.)

Next featured is...
Jack is the son of Peaches, the brother to Jesse the Toothless Wonder. Jack was born under a neighbor's deck in 2008, and when the neighbor shoo'd Peaches and kittens away... guess where they ended up? Jack had a bad experience with another neighbor who may or may not have hit him with a shovel. Mom never found out, but Jack went missing for a couple of weeks, and then when he returned he walked in circles. He spent a month at the vet, and when he returned, he never allowed anyone to pick him up again. He's reverted to being semi-feral, but we love him and he's very happy here in Flory-Da.

Next features is...
Candy is an intellectual. She's well-read, watches high-brow documentaries, and has a quirky love for coffee. At least for the smell of it. Mom refers to her as Caffeine Candy, especially when she tries to lick the Keurig machine. Candy traveled to Blogpaws Kansas City where she made the rounds with the Brands while me, Dori, hid out under the bed. Candy used to be my bestest furend until her boyfriend is K.C. aka Kevin Coopurr  arrived, rescued from our yard two years ago. They have a serious commitment to each other. *makes jealous gagging sounds.*

Next featured is...
Frank aka Fwank
Everyone knows Fwank arrived as an angry tomcat at the age of four. He was tired from no one loving him, and he had learned to be aggressive on the mean streets. However, our Mom took a chance on him, and even though he attacked Mom who fended him off with a broom, and shredded Daddy's leather jacket, Fwank soon learned about unconditional love. Today he's loved by everyone, and no longer shows any signs of the angry tomcat he once was.

Next featured is...
Momma always wanted an orange tabby, so when a little weenie kitten showed up in our yard, eating grass alongside the raccoons...and also a momma fox and her kit (yikes!) Mom rescued him. Opie is Jack's bestest friend, and is sweet on Peaches. We all love Opie, even though when he first joined our family he did not get along with Herman. Herman wanted to be the only Ginger in the house... but eventually they settled their differences. Today Opie is enjoying his Flory-Da retirement by relaxing in the Catio sunpuddles, or walking around the house in the wee hours of the morning, crying with his favorite orange ball in his mouth.

Next featured is...
Elly arrived four years ago after getting a tip from Mom's beloved Noah, a feral black darling who later passed from feline AIDS and leukemia that same year. Elly immediately made friends with Candy (and I immediately despised her because of that. Candy was MY bestest furend.) Anyway, today Elly has claimed our Daddy, and loves to snuggle with him all night long. She hardly waits for him to lie down, before she jumps on his chest and pushes her face into his. She doesn't mind at all that Daddy has asthma. And frankly, Mom thinks Daddy doesn't mind either. He looooves his "Miss Elly."

Next featured is...

Let's try another selfie, shall we?
Next is Rabbit aka Hermes LuxuryCat aka AssRabbit
Wabbit is a Turkish Van like our Hermie, but he's nothing like Herman. Where Herman is sweet and lovable, and always well behaved... Wabbit has no filter, and is in constant need of entertainment. If he's bored, watch out. He goes looking for something to entertain himself, and that usually means hunting me, Dori. He has been jumping on me and putting the bitey on my neck for three years. Momma puts him in tee shirts that act like thundershirts to simmer him the hekk down. And it works. Mom doesn't want to keep him on any kind of sedative, because Vans are naturally active and curious and...frankly, out of control. Good thing Daddy has the energy to keep Wabbit entertained. Together they are always finding some adventure to wear Wabbit out. He's a handsome dood, though. And when he's not biting my neck or chasing the seniors under the bed, he really is a nice guy.

And finally, I've shaved the bestest selfie for last.
I would like to be an only child. Except for Hwermie, of course. And Fwank. I could be very happy just being an only child with them. Since moving to Flory-Da I've found my inner AssRabbit. Guess I've been influenced by yoo know who. These days I like to climb the shelves in Momma's closet, and I like to chase Gidget (I've never liked her) and I run around with my dolly - a stepped-on old Mylar ball - mostly in the wee hours of the morning, crying for everyone to meet Dolly. I sleep with my Momma every night, under the cover, and recently I've decided I love the taste of Aveeno night cream on her face. My favorite hobby is playing with baby dwagons in the Catio.