Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kitty, Nine Lives, Ordinal Numbers, Bookmaking, and More...

Post flea-bath photo.

We're sad. Our kitty passed her ninth life last week. It might actually have been her thirteenth. Or thirtieth. This cat gave me gray hairs. If we cracked the outside door, she'd streak in (sometimes so fast I didn't notice) and go hide in the house. Somewhere. A couple of us are allergic, so we'd begin an all-hands-on-deck call to find her. Usually under the bed.

She made me the craziest when I'd try to leave home. She'd zip into the garage door just as it was about to close. I sometimes pushed the button repeatedly as she waltzed in, then out, then in, then out. We recently came home after being gone for hours to find the garage door standing open. She must have done that in-out thing one time after I quit looking.

But the ultimate curious cat moments came when she'd run into the garage as I was backing out, jump on the hood, leap to the van roof, and take a final hop to the backside of the garage door. Yep. Up. Way up. While in the open position. If I continued backing out, she was stuck up there and I couldn't leave because the garage door was open; if I shut the door she'd be squashed. But when I pulled back into the garage, she'd go further onto the garage door where it was impossible to reach her.

Only a year ago I wrote about her when she got sprayed by a skunk. She was CURIOUS.

She made me crazy.

But we loved her.

So in tribute, we're making cat books. While learning math. And doing a little art. Go figure.

We started by reading picture books about the nine lives of cats:

My Nine Lives by Clio, by Marjorie Priceman
Comet's Nine Lives, by Jan Brett

We also read Cookie's Week. The cat, Cookie, encounters one misadventure each day of the week ("On Monday...Cookie fell in the toilet.") until she finally rests on Sunday. It's a great book to look at the days of the week in sequence.

We wrote stories--and included ordinal numbers--about the misadventures of a cat. Each tale was unique and written at the child's developmental level. Here are pages from the 6-year-old's:
On the first day, Cuddles fell into the toilet.
On the second day, Cuddles fell into a pot of mud.
On the third day, Cuddles got into the washing machine and it spun him around.
On the fourth day, Cuddles knocked the clothes off the clothesline. They got all dirty again.

And a few pages from the 9-year-old's:
On Tiger's first life at the farm he chased a bird to the top of the barn and fell off. Oops, life number one flying away.

On Tiger's seventh life he went down to the pond and tried to catch a duck. He pounced, but fell in, KER-SPLASH. Life number seven flying away.

On Tiger's eighth life he snuck up on the dog he saw through a thorn bush. He attacked and got stuck in the bush. Life number eight bounding away with tufts of fur missing.

We made books, pop-up style.

The 9-year-old will also add page numbers using Roman Numerals after reading Fun With Roman Numerals and Roman Numerals I to MM. Although Roman Numerals seem to be on the way out, standards-wise, it's something I want my students to learn. Roman Numerals aren't uncommon in dates (think movies!) and chapter titles. Just today we read A Giraffe Goes to Paris which included information about King Charles X of France.

It's been very healing for all of us to remember kitty's antics. I hope she made you smile. 

Disclosure: If you purchase books through my Amazon links, all commissions go toward foster care through Grace and Hope at no additional cost to you. I do not keep any money myself; I am hoping to be able to sponsor an additional child in foster care through commissions on this site. Thank you!


  1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss! I love how you made stories as part of the healing process.

  2. So sorry to hear about your cat. I am an animal lover and I love the books you mention in your post! Sounds like your cat had a very full life.

  3. So sorry to hear this! As the owner of an extremely curious cat myself, I can't imagine life without my odd Charlie. I am glad that you are celebration her life in such a nice way! :)

  4. Sorry to hear about kitty...I am such a cat lover. I love the children's stories! Cookies Week is one of my favorites.

  5. Sorry about your cat :(

    And um, I just realized you are from Oregon!

    I'm so excited about that lol. I found a few other bloggers from Oregon on here too!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher


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