Meet Tyra (The Cat Formerly Known as Freak)

Meet Tyra (The Cat Formerly Known as Freak)

posted in: At Home, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our book, Woof Trekking: How to Road Trip with Your Pets centers around our travels with our two dogs, Izzy and Nana, and Mac’s cat, Billy. We have talked a lot about them, here on our blog.


However, our family also consists of another cat, Tyra. We have shown her in a couple Wordless Wednesday posts but we have never actually introduced her to our followers. Tyra is Al’s cat. They were made for each other.


Tyra’s story began in 2004 when we saw a sign for free kittens posted on our community mailbox. At the time we had a retired racing greyhound, Mya. You would think that we would never get a cat with a greyhound already living in the house. Greyhounds are supposed predators and given an opportunity, might rip a baby kitten to pieces, however our’s did not. If anything, Tyra turned out to be more of a problem for Mya than the other way around.


When we first brought Tyra home, Al had two thoughts 1) what did she get herself into and 2) why wasn’t this kitten normal? Tyra’s original name was not Tyra; her name for about the first year of her life was Freak. Kind of sounds mean, but it’s actually from the most excellent book, Freak the Mighty. However, the name didn’t quite fit her, so we tried other names until finally, Tyra became Tyra. She can also be referred to as TT, the white cat or ‘TY-RA!’, this last one is only used when she is doing something bad.

Tyra has always been wild; this could be due to her questionable paternity. It could have been the cat that lived with her mother or it could have been a feral Tom who roamed the neighborhood. We think she is part feral, mostly due to her territorial-ness and dislike of other animals.


When she was younger, she was very standoffish, she didn’t want to be near any human. She liked Al, but only because she fed her. Tyra would not display any signs of affection until Al and Tyra set out to tackle the real world. When it became just the two of us, she became very affectionate, but that didn’t happen until she was eight years old. Now, since she is twelve, she is even more affectionate.


Still, Tyra enjoys spending most of her time alone, sunbathing the day away.


It is perhaps surprising she has lived this long since she has a terrible habit of chewing things, particularly wires. We had to buy cord covers to protect the wires after Tyra chewed Mac’s Super Nintendo power cord and ruined it. (Not bitter. Not bitter at all. ?)

When Tyra was younger, she enjoyed chewing on fabrics. Nothing was safe from a hole made by Tyra, some memorable items included a cashmere scarf, a pair of Under Armour leggings and a blanket. She continues to eat things she shouldn’t including Kleenex and toilet paper, but usually just takes one bite and then moves on to other things. Now that she’s getting to be an old lady, she can’t seem to be bothered.


But love is love and Al loves Tyra and Tyra loves Al. ? ?

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Two by Two: Into the White (FREE Excerpt)

Two by Two: Into the White (FREE Excerpt)

posted in: Entertainment, Our Work, Poetry | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Alternating between eager optimism and somber reclusion, Two by Two: Into the White examines morality and neuroses, agony and peace. The couplets transport readers from the sunny arroyos of the Sonoran Desert to the darkest, dampest corners of the human mind.

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Please enjoy this free excerpt from my book: Two by Two: Into the White.

into the white

gray paws sink deep into
the blanket of powder snow

gaze flickers between brother, sister
mother, father, patrolling their positions

all of their honey-gold eyes fixed on the
immense bison, he does not cower

dignified to his last, outweighing
the wolves combined

together they leap
a mass of growling gray fur

soaring at the neck
of the regal beast

he remains standing
as they wrestle and rip

his thick molasses fur
an insufficient defense

a groan escapes it before
snapping jaws succeed

the bison falls, surrendering
to the white snow

eerie howling reverberates
into the night

Thoughts on “Into the White”

Many poems in the collection feature a desert setting; this couplet is just the opposite. I wanted to capture the intense power of nature, of the wild, that is so captivating to human beings. We often feel cut off from nature, living in our cities and shopping at our grocery stores.

Then we visit nature, either through television or by visiting a national park, and some primal awareness clicks on in our brains from an earlier time. An ancient memory, perhaps from when we were hunters and gatherers, is triggered and the result is an inexplicable sense of déjà vu.


Get my Poetry Collection: Two by Two TODAY!

website two by two promo


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Photo of the Week: DONUTS!

Donut Day

Happy June everyone!

Sweet summertime is here at last. With June comes National Donut Day! This year it is June 5th.
It is held the first Friday of every June and means YOU can get a FREE donut from your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts. (Dunkin requires the purchase of a beverage).
The donuts pictured above are New Orleans’ favorite donut: Beignets. I first had these at Disneyland, of all places.
The beignets above are homemade ones that we made last December. SOOOOOO Goood! We used Paula Deen’s recipe.
Hope the thought of free doughnuts keeps you going this work week!

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