- Quality Hand Cut Wood Puzzles from the Hills of Pennsylvania!
6 unique Ziggy Figurals:
Six of the cat figurals are Ziggy himself! I used his actual photographs to create these special silhouettes. Even though there are 60 cat figurals in the puzzle, it will not be difficult to find which ones are Ziggy because all you have to do is look for a tail! If there is no long tail, then it is a Ziggy figural - because Ziggy was part Japanese Bobtail and had a very special 2" pom-pom for a tail!
Six "Ziggy" figurals shown below:
More about Ziggy:
Ziggy was rescued by my aunt in early November 1988 as a 5 day old feral kitten when the mother cat- a stray- was killed on the road. He and his brother were found a few days later in a tire in an outside building (an open "garage!") I nursed the kittens by feeding them dilued canned milk from an eye dropper. After I had them a few days or so, their eyes opened- but only one of Ziggy's eyes opened. (We assumed the other must have been infected or damaged, because they were abandoned in the cold outside for several days and it is a miracle they survived at all.) Many years later, we learned that these kitties had a very special heritage! As his little bobbed tail and other charcteristics indicated, Ziggy was part "Japanese Bobtail!" Both cats grew up thinking I was their "mommy" and I grew to think of them as my "babies!" (Ziggy's brother passed away in 2002.)
If you would like to see more pictures of Ziggy, please visit his Tribute.
Ziggy has blessed my life with his presence for almost 16 years and is sorely missed! This special charity auction held in his memory will benefit local shelter pets who are in need of a home as Ziggy once was. Fayette Friends of Animals has dozens of homeless cats and kittens that are in need of adoption. (They also have many dogs as well.) They are a no-kill shelter and a "non-profit" organization run by volunteers.
More about Fayette Friends of Animals (FFOA):
Fayette Friends of Animals is a volunteer, nonprofit organization. Please visit their website here. I visited FFOA for the first time after Ziggy passed away. Since then, my husband and I have visited about 5 times, first at their old shelter and recently at their new location. In November they moved into a bigger and better animal shelter (still partly under construction)! Plans are underway to build an outdoor room for the kitties to be able to get some fresh air, as well as an indoor visiting/ playroom where visitors can play with and interact with a particular cat or dog they are considering adopting. It was already nice at the old shelter and now it is getting even better all the time. The volunteers are super friendly and the shelter animals are precious! FFOA granted me permission to hold this auction. Scan of written consent appears below. They also had no problem with me taking photos of their pets, which I took about a month ago, when they were still at the old shelter. Below are those photos.
(The precious calico kitten in the photo below has since been adopted!)
(Gabriella and Ashton, below - still waiting to be adopted!)
They have lots of kittens... kittens jumping, playing with furry toys, rolling around, sticking their paws out of the cage to reach other kittens and cats nearby, lots of kittens there all waiting for the chance to have a real home!!
I am not as knowledgeable about all the animals as the workers are, but visiting with the cats several times, I got to know many of them and visit with them more than once. One of the many cats not shown in the photos is Oreo. Oreo is such a sweetheart! One day we stopped to visit, I reached in to pet him and he licked my hands constantly and wouldn't stop. The last time we stopped at the new shelter, he wasn't there. One of the workers told me he is currently in foster home because he is shy when he comes out of his cage and needs more socialization.
The cat to the right in the photo below is Phoebe. She is a gorgeous cat with the most striking eyes and wonderfully friendly personality. I am very surprised nobody adopted her by now! She gave me lots of kisses (as did several other friendly cats!) and I really love her a lot!
Frazier is the black and white cat to the left in the photo below. His markings remind me of Oreo who is also black and white. You would never believe the wonderful purrsonalities these cats have until you go and meet them in person!! It is incomprehensible that many of them were abandoned by their previous owners!!
The two cats in the photo below are seniors, at least 8 or 10 years old. They came from the same house, left abandoned there after their owners got a divorce and left them behind. They both have wonderful personalities although they are a bit shy at first. I have spent a lot of my time visiting with them because they are both such wonderful cats! The brown cat is named Cocoa and he has long, soft and silky fur. The grey cat they called Mama and she is a Manx (no tail). I got to take them out of their cage, one at a time, and brush them and hold them for a while on two different occasions. They both purred loudly non-stop once they realized nothing bad was happening to them. (I love these cats!!)
I also spent time with several other cats who aren't shown in these photos. One of them is Blazer, a young male cat; he is white with grey spots, very shy at first, but quite affectionate once he trusts you. (Blayer, I love you!) Wonderful black and white cats, all white cats, calicos, tabbies, torties... there are lots more cats who are at the shelter and at PetSmart waiting adoption (FFOA is affiliated with the PetSmart in Greensburg, PA), and also in various foster homes being cared for by volunteers. It is hard to believe that some of them have been there a long time and nobody has adopted them yet!! One friendly black female cat, Madeline, was at Greensburg PetSmart (we visited there too several times!) and someone told me that she has been in the care of FFOA for about one year so far, still waiting to be adopted!!!
(I forget the name of the ragdoll cat in the photo below, but she has since been adopted!)
They do have lots of dogs as well! Here are two of the smaller dogs that were in the cat room at the time we visited, but they have lots of other dogs of all sizes, and very nice larger dog area at the new shelter now too. This is not just a cat shelter, a large part of the shelter is devoted to dogs, too!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who bids on this auction! By participating in this auction, you can show your support for animal rescue and no-kill shelters everywhere. THANK YOU!!
And finally, if this auction has inspired anyone to adopt, donate to, or even visit with the pets in their own local animal shelter (They love to be taken out of their cages and brushed for a while!), I would love to hear from you!!
Aside from the figurals, the puzzle is cut in my usual knobby style + some earlets throughout. Basically I tried to cut it as interlocking as possible because with this many figurals, the overall tendency is to be semi-interlocking. Pieces vary in size and shape and as always, no two are alike!
There is also color-line cutting in various places throughout the puzzle. Not extensive, but a little.. just enough to throw you off probably! I would estimate that difficulty in solving this puzzle is going to be fairly high because of the irregular border, drop-outs, and deceptive edge pieces, not to mention a little color-line cutting! - But I think that it is going to be very fun at the same time!
Shown below is how the print looked after it was mounted onto the board, with the figural patterns glued on, but before I began to cut it! (I end up repositioning a few of the figurals slightly, after I began to cut the puzzle. One is the 4-leaf clover which I moved up and to the right more, to make room for the irregular edge that I decided to extend all the way down to nearly the bottom). It took me about 5 hours just to glue these figurals in place! - and much, much longer (a few weeks in all) to design and plan them all out!!!
How the completed puzzle looks when ALL the figurals are removed!
Figurals from the front side (includes all figurals):
As mentioned above, there are 60 different cat figurals.
There are cats sleeping, sitting, pouncing, standing, walking, washing, playing, balancing, drinking, running, scratching, stretching, even going in the litter box! In addition to cats in various positions, there are some that represent certain breeds such as Persian, Norwegian Forest, Javanese, Egyptian Mau, Exotic, Angora (and of course Japanese Bobtail!)
There are so many figurals in this puzzle that approximately one out of every 7 pieces will be a figural piece!
Here is an interesting piece of trivia:
In my previous 49 puzzles combined, there were a total of 252 figurals - which is an average of just 5 figurals per puzzle! The puzzle with the greatest # of figurals (before I cut this puzzle) was puzzle #48 which had 21 figurals, and before that, it was puzzle #30 with 18 figurals. So you can see that 80 figurals is something that is quite uncommon (and understandably so because it took nearly forever to plan them all out not to mention the care required to actually cut them!!)
are enhanced figurals
which have interior cuts to help
distinguish certain features.
The ball of yarn has the most extensive interior cuts.
Enhanced figurals shown below:
One of the things that makes this puzzle so neat are all the interactive figurals. At first I was just going to include a lot of cats and have a few interacting such as catching a bird or butterfly, then one thing led to another and before I knew it just about every figural in the puzzle is interacting with others around it! It took me weeks of planning just to create the complex web of figurals in this puzzle!
Cats are just the most delightful creatures and in these figurals you can see many of their wonderful qualities which show how they interact with each other, with other animals (and a little girl), and with other objects in the puzzle.
The best way for me to describe this is to list the 9 groups of interacting figurals and show photos of how they appear both within and out of the puzzle.
another cat's tail
Two cats intrigued by a fish swimming in a fish bowl
Cat catching string pulled by a little girl (five other cats watching nearby)
Mother cat playing with her two kittens
Cat chasing rabbit (four other cats watching nearby as well as another startled rabbit, too frozen to move)
Cat balancing on spool of thread (another cat watching nearby)
Cat tipping over bottle of milk (two other cats licking it up as well as another nearby cat who is washing himself... most likely he got to the milk first and already had his fill!)
Cat in tree who just chased a bird out of its nest (another bird nearby squawking at them well as other cats observing the commotion, including one cat who is ready to catch the feather that is falling down from the bird who just was chased out of the tree - and the black cat who was startled unexpectedly by this occurrance - and probably out of his nap!)
Two kittens playing with a ball of yarn (two others watching nearby)
(I forgot to
include one of the tree pieces in the photo
there is one supposed to be at the top near the cat, but it is shown in the photo below
Scan of top half of puzzle:
One of the things I did to make this puzzle unique (and more difficult to solve!) is to give it an irregular & deceptive edge by cutting around some of the leaves in the print and putting 4 additional cats along the top edge. Going from left to right, I will describe them and you can refer to the photo above, if you can see the black kitties against the black background- it may be hard to notice them at first, I should have made the background a different color to view it better (too late now - puzzle already disassembled!) - but you can also scroll up to the very top of this page where there is another photo of the entire puzzle solved, and you can see the black cats better against the wood background.
1) The one to the far left (a silhouette of my own Ziggy) is lying partly under three leaves- you can see some of his body but his front and back legs and some of his body too is hidden under the foliage.
2) Another cat is peeking out from behind a leaf- you can just see his head.
3) A third cat (looking toward the right) is lying on his stomach with his hind end hidden in leaves to the left while the bulk of his body is showing and his front legs are hidden in the leaves to the right.
4) The cat to the far right is entirely exposed except for a wee bit of his front paw which is hidden under a leaf. I'm going to guess that as the puzzle is solved, this cat will be the last piece left, making the solver wonder where he belongs, or whether he belongs in the puzzle at all, and he certainly does as shown in the photos below! His tail end is not connected at all to the puzzle, it only rests on top of the leaf.
Scan of bottom half of puzzle:
The bottom edge is straight except for one protrusion which is a cat's tail! I thought this would be a deceptive way to make the bottom edge a little more tricky to solve. I believe the cats I placed at the top of the puzzle are also considered protrusions, although I'm not positive since they were not actually part of the original print... If anyone knows for sure what to call them, let me know!
There are 19 figurals that are actually edge pieces - but they do not look like edge pieces at first glance, so that they will confuse you when you go to work the puzzle, the piece that you will least expect to be an edge piece may actually be the piece that you are supposed to be looking for!
pieces" shown in photo below:
(I forgot to include one in this scan-only 18 are shown)
Bottom edge showing 5 deceptive figural edge pieces:
Left edge showing 5 decptive figural edge pieces:
edge showing 6 deceptive figural edge pieces:
(Note: there are actually 7 figurals, but I forgot to remove the center one for the photo!)
Right edge showing 4 deceptive figural edge pieces:
While the majority of the figurals in this puzzle are simple one-piece figurals, nine of them are complex figurals, meaning they are multi-piece figurals and thus, are little puzzles in themselves! They include 5 cats, a fish bowl (with fish inside!), girl playing with string, cat going in litter box, and the most complex figural in the puzzle- a tree consisting of 20 pieces, three of which are other figurals (leaf, bird, and cat)
Multi-piece figurals (complex figurals) shown below:
As mentioned above, there are 60 cat figurals and 20 non-cat figurals.
18 of the 20 non-cat
figurals are shown
(not shown are the tree and the girl; both are shown elsewhere on this page)
Non-cat figurals include:
Girl pulling string
Bird in flight
Rabbit sitting up
Ball of yarn
Spool of thread
"Key" signature piece
The 4-leaf clover was put in the puzzle for good luck! It serves at least three purposes:
1) For good luck as I cut the
puzzle so I made no major mistakes (I believe it
2) For good luck with the ebay auction in the hopes it will raise a good sum of money to benefit the animals at FFOA!
3) For good luck to the puzzle solver which they will need when they attempt to solve this challenging puzzle!
On the back of the clover figural is written by me, "Proceeds benefit Fayette Friends of Animals" and on the auction hammer "Charity Auction." My "key" signature piece is signed & dated in the same way I would for other puzzles. But this is the only puzzle I have done where two other special pieces were signed on the back as well.
Signed figurals shown below:
The print I used for this puzzle is by Rosemary Daunis, who gave me permission to use her print in this puzzle. She writes:
"The 18 Cats print is from my 1998 painting of domestic cats. Many of the cats are of my own family's cats. Some have passed on. So this print is very special to me."
Rosemary is a self-representing artist who has been painting in oils on stretched canvas for over 30 years. With this auction, you will also receive a paper (sent to me by Rosemary with the print I purchased) that explains more about this print and provides the names of many of the cats in the print including Zorro (a real cat that is still living with her) and Mr. T (who passed away in 1985). The bottom of the paper is hand-signed and dated by Rosemary in 2004.
In my correspondence with the artist, I asked her if any of the cats in the painting may have been rescue stories or had any history that may be of interest to viewers (or the winner of the puzzle), and she replied with the following:
"As I think back, all of my cats were strays except Zorro and Jeda Mae. Mr. T touched me the most. My son found him at the side of a dirt road not much bigger than a mouse. He fit into the palm of my hand and was light as a feather. He was the sweetest, most endearing cat I have ever known. He never left my side and was always in my lap the second I sat down. He was with us only two years and became sick and died within 24 hours.
"Prissy was another favorite. Her name fit her perfectly. She had long hair and a big fluffy tail. She was just a kitten when my daughter found her and brought her home one day. She was with us over 12 years.
"We had many stray cats and kittens over the years. We live next door to a grade school so I figure many of them followed children to school and lost their way home. And I think because we had outdoor cats, they were followed home by other cats. Maybe they even 'invited' them to come home.
"Rusty was the first stray cat I took in since I was married many years ago. He was already grown when he begged for food on my front porch. He was also a lap cat who loved nothing better than to nap in my lap. His fur was a brownish orange color.
I think cats who've been on their own a while probably are more thankful when they get good treatment from people. I watch the Animal Planet channel and the Animal Rescue shows they have. I like to see a good ending but it doesn't always happen."
I want to thank Rosemary for allowing the use of her print. She occasionally holds auctions for her original cat paintings too! So fellow cat lovers please be sure to check out her "about me" page and if interested, you can contact her to get on her mailing list and be notified whenever she puts one of her paintings up for auction!
I also want to thank Glenda of CatStuff for permitting the use of her cat silhouettes. Many of the cat figurals I used in this puzzle came from her site. If you love cats, then you will love visiting her website! It is a great resource for cat-lovers everywhere!
Finally I want to acknowledge use of Bob Armstrong's descriptive page on puzzle-cutting techniques - what a nice online reference for puzzle cutters and collectors to refer to! If you love puzzles, be sure to visit and learn more about the proper terminology for some of the neat tricks that cutters can include in their puzzles! (I didn't even realize what to call most of mine until I read his page- and I'm still learning!)
Puzzle comes disassembled inside the beautiful wood box with sliding lid shown below. I made this box myself from solid pine (sides) and 3-ply Finland Birch (lid and bottom). The outside has been finished with stain and multiple layers of sealer. My label is affixed to the outside of the box with the puzzle title, number, and piece count. The box measures approx 6 1/4" X 8 1/2" X 5 1/2" high.
In addition, the back of the box has something special that none of my other boxes ever had before. It is a photo of Ziggy! Since he is not part of the actual art print used for this puzzle (although he resembles the orange and white cat in the lower left of the puzzle), I thought it only fitting he was at least pictured on the box! It says "In Loving Memory..." and then Ziggy (1988-2004) at the bottom. The photo on the box is of him standing on one of the logs in his "play area" outside.
He had his own little play area we built by finding some small trees or logs that fell over in the woods and then arranged them over each other on other small trees that were still standing. He liked his play area and used it often, scratching his claws on the logs and having a good time. This photo is also one of the 6 photos I used to make the 6 different Ziggy figurals in the puzzle. So when you dump out the puzzle pieces, you can see if you can find the cat figural that matches the photo on the back of the box!
Note: This puzzle contains small pieces which may present a choking hazard to children. It has been designed for adults or older children and is not meant for young children.
I will e-mail the winner after the auction is over with further payment instruction. It is preferred that you get a money order, make it out to "Fayette Friends of Animals" and send it to me. I will take the payment to FFOA and they will give me a tax-exemptable receipt which I will include with your puzzle when I send it out. If you go this route, then naturally the puzzle will not arrive before Christmas.
If you need this puzzle in time for Christmas, then the only option is to pay me online via PAYPAL. I will allow the use of credit card payment for this auction if desired. I will ship the puzzle out as soon as you send paypal funds (or the next day if the post office is closed). For example, this auction ends on the 19th - if you pay with paypal that evening or by the next morning, then I can ship the puzzle on the 20th priority rate and it should arrive between 22nd-24th depending on where in U.S you live. I will then transfer the funds over to FFOA and pick up the receipt to send along to YOU.. No matter how you choose to pay, you will receive a receipt (tax exemptable) of your donation.
FFOA will receive the amount of the final bid. The winner must also pay for shipping which varies according to your zip code. Please input your zip code into the calculator at bottom.
Note: the above puzzle description is a copy of my ebay listing currently up for auction Dec 9- Dec 19, 2004
Please CLICK HERE to see the actual ebay auction for this puzzle.
Copyright © 2004 Keystone Puzzles. All Rights Reserved.