Neko – Japanese for “Cat”

Neko – Japanese for “Cat”

Sometimes, life throws unexpected curves. That’s what happened on October 24th, when Neko came into our lives. Before I get to that story, let me give you some background. 

John, Nate, Bonnie & Clyde 

I live in a bungalow in Kenosha Wisconsin with my youngest child, Nate, and two cats – Bonnie & Clyde. Before Nate moved in earlier this year, my older son, John, lived with me. A few months after I had moved into my house five years ago, John saw Bonnie & Clyde outside in the cold several nights in a row, so I opened the door. They ran inside and have been with me ever since. 

Nate moved in earlier this year, and set up a “lair” in the basement where he can hang out, play video games and write music. Clyde decided that this would be a perfect place to mark his territory, and so he did. Twice Nate had to throw out the carpet that he bought due to Clyde’s behavior. Suffice it to say, Nate made it known that he was done with cats – Clyde in particular. 

Another fact about Nate that will come in handy is that he and John both enjoy Anime, and he has been studying Japanese so he can watch without needing to read subtitles. This has been one of his pursuits for over a year now. 

An Unusual Find 

For years I’ve been struggling with my weight, so to try to get myself into shape I walk three and a half miles each day. A few years ago, I had knee surgery and I’m afraid to mess them up again, so I walk rather than jogging. I live nine blocks away from Lake Michigan, so I rather enjoy these walks. 

On that fateful morning a few weeks ago, I was approaching my house at the end of my walk when I heard a strange noise coming from the back yard. I thought it might be a bird, but as I got closer to the back, it became clear that it was no bird – that was definitely the cry of a kitten.  

In the very back of my yard, next to the garage, I have a stack of eight pallets that are remnants of a failed business attempt. The sound was definitely coming from there and as I got closer, a neighborhood tomcat jumped off the top of the pallets and ran off. I looked into the pallets to find the source of the incessant crying, and there, inside the second pallet from the top, teetering on his belly, desperately trying to hold on, was this tiny ball of fur – eyes still closed, ears still down, and shivering because it was about forty degrees outside. 

Enter Neko 

While I reached in to grab this kitten, my mind was saying “What are you going to do with this thing? I already have two cats, and Nate won’t want anything to do with it.” All I knew was that I couldn’t leave him out in the cold, probably to be killed by the tomcat.  

Nate works nights, and therefore sleeps in until well after I leave for work. I had to shower and get ready to go, so I knocked on Nate’s door, “Nate! Can you help me with something?” 

Nate stirred, opened his door, looked down at my hand and said, “You want me to help you with that.” 

“Yes. It’s OK, though,” I said, “there are a couple no-kill shelters in town. I’ll text you their information and you can bring him to one of those. I just need you to take care of him until then. He probably needs to eat (I assumed because he hadn’t stopped crying), but I have no milk or anything.” 

“Fine,” Nate said, and I went to take my shower. 

By the time I came downstairs to make my lunch, Nate had researched what to feed the kitten, “You can’t feed it milk, it needs kitten formula, and he needs a special bottle.” He informs me. “He also needs to be kept warm because he can’t regulate his body temperature yet.” I was impressed how Nate jumped into action, but had to get moving so I wouldn’t be late. 

​I checked around, and found the preferred shelter and texted that to Nate. Then I followed up with a phone call to ensure Nate got the information. “Well, he’s kind of growing on me...” was Nate’s response. 

When my shift was done, I left as soon as I could so I could see how the little guy was doing. As I got into the kitchen, I saw that Nate had created a little nest out of a shoebox and a couple hand towels. “Cardboard is good because it retains heat.” Nate had also taken a couple of his socks and filled them with some dry pinto beans that we had. These, after microwaving for a minute each, served as the heat source. Nate had ruled out the heating pad because there was the risk of overheating the cat, plus the risk of fire. He had bought two tiny bottles to feed him with, as well as a container of formula that has to be kept in the refrigerator. He also found that we have to manually help the cat “express” his pee and poop by rubbing his “private parts”. Therefore, a station was set up in the living room with latex gloves, rags, a pee pad, Kleenex and wet wipes. 

“I named him Neko,” Nate said, “it’s Japanese for Cat.” 

Songs of Freedom benefit with Betsy Ade

Songs of Freedom benefit with Betsy Ade

This Saturday from noon until 10:00 p.m., Songs of Freedom, a one day music festival to benefit Operation Underground Railroad will take place at Pennoyer Park. The festival will feature local musicians, and will be headlined by Betsy Ade and the Well Known Strangers. You'll be able to enjoy food, beverages and local vendors, and the music will alternate between two stages.

Operation Underground Railroad is an organization that helps rescue victims of child sex trafficking, which has become a staggeringly immense problem throughout the world.

You can buy your tickets to the event at Eventbrite or on the Facebook event page.

Songs of Freedom is a one day music festival! This festival will have food, drinks vendors, and two stages (with 8 different musical acts)! All of the proceeds from this festival will go to help operation Underground Railroad to benefit victims of human trafficking. Tickets are $12/each! Children under 12 are free!

Schedule of Events:

Main Stage
  • Jolly Jackson 12:30 to 1:15pm
  • Ben Beland 1:40 to 2:15 pm
  • Earthmother 2:34 to 3:15 pm
  • Would You Kindly 3:40 to 4:15 pm
  • Dropping Daisies 4:40 to 5:15 pm
  • Rust Belt 5:40 to 6:30 pm
  • Announcements 7pm
  • Betsy Ade and the Well Known Strangers
Fusion Stage
  • Johnny Rotten Paycheck 12:00 to 12:30 pm
  • Britney Lumley 1:00 to 1:30 pm
  • 3 AM Saints 2:00 to 2:30 pm
  • Candy Eisenhauer 3:00 to 3:30 pm
  • Spare Animals 4:00 to 4:30 pm
  • Mykal Bass 5:00 to 5:30 pm
This weekend in Kenosha!

This weekend in Kenosha!

It's still technically Summer, and you can still find some outdoor activities to enjoy. Here are some things to do on Saturday to wring out every bit of enjoyment from the season...perhaps with a sweater.

Walk in the Woods Art Fair at Hawthorn Hollow

Spend a beautiful day at Hawthorn Hollow’s 27th annual “Walk in the Woods” Art Fair. Over 60 artists will be displaying their creations along the wooded trails and gardens of Hawthorn Hollow. There will be everything from jewelry to acrylic and water color paintings, from photography to wood sculpting, from handmade baskets and clothing to glass and garden art to choose from.

There will be live music throughout the day at two stages. Wine, mimosas, local craft beer, and food will be for sale; no carry-ins please.

A $5.00 donation per vehicle is requested. All proceeds benefit Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum – owned and operated by the H. Chris Hyslop Foundation, a private non-profit organization.

Live Music Schedule:

Amphitheater Stage
    • 10am – Swing Fandango
    • 11am – Mark Paffrath
    • High Noon – Kevin Grissom
    • 1pm – Brent Mitchell
    • 2pm – Milwaukee Road
Nature Center
    • 12-1pm – J&H Crossing
    • 1-4pm – Trombone Dave’s Chicago Gumbo Show
    • Wandering Tap Dancer: Danielle Webber

Hawthorn Hollow is located one mile south of County Hwy KR and just west of Petrifying Springs Park.

Summer's Last Stand Picnic hosted by Public Craft Brewing

We don't want to admit it, but we're running out of summer and we want to squeeze every drop (of beer) out of it! Summer is powering down, but we've still got this last chance for summer fun at our "street picnic" loaded with great summer grooves, yard games and, of course, tons of your favorite PUBLIC brews!


  • 8pm-10pm - The Copper Children - Psychedelic folk soul brothers all the way from Denver!
  • 6pm - Earthmother - Local high energy jam-masters have reputation that proceeds them. They. Bring. The. Party. Every time!
  • 4pm - Sun Silo - One of our favorite area bands, Sun Silo delivers a grooving psychedelic rock/jazz show that you can't get enough of.
  • 2pm - Royal Son of a Guns - These raucous roadhouse blues and rockabilly rockers are making the trip from Chicago to make the picnic move at all costs.
  • 1pm - Johnny Rotten Paycheck - Hillbilly, Rockabilly folk and country.


Twisted Cuisine is bringing their award winning pulled pork to the picnic! Plus, the reinvigorated Captain Mike's is going to be here with their killer mac & cheese! And, just added, Olanos Empanadas will be back for the festivities!

Don't miss our friends from Jack Andrea who'll be back with their selection of fine cigars to enjoy!

Kenosha HarborMarket

Fun for the entire family, visit our bustling European-style mixed market presenting 150+ vendors each week during the outdoor season. 

Fresh organic vegetables, meats, cheeses, eggs and flowers from local producers, and a wide variety of delicious prepared foods and beverages. You will find artisan bakery goods and handcrafted soaps, candles and all media of art and craft. Enjoy live entertainment in three locations, chef demonstrations and educational booths. We’ve been known to have flash mobs, dance recitals, pageants and contests!

Admission is free.

Kenosha Streetcar Day

Celebrate Kenosha’s Electric Streetcars!

Featuring tours of the “streetcar barn” (Joseph McCarthy Transit Center), interactive displays, and more. Great photo opportunities! Ride all the operating streetcars!

Presented by Kenosha Streetcar Society, Kenosha Area Transit, and more participants. This is the seventh annual Kenosha Streetcar Day; it takes place at the Joseph McCarthy Transit Center, 724 54th St.

How about a Twilight Tour about sustainability?

How about a Twilight Tour about sustainability?

You would think that parks would naturally be sustainable, right? Think again. It takes a lot to make our parks into places where we would want to visit. And that means the use of a lot of machinery, fuel, and natural resources. Well Kenosha County is piloting a program to change that, and tonight you have a chance to find out about it first hand, while having a fun evening and having some great food from local sources! 

A sustainability themed tour that will conclude with locally sourced food and beverages will be held the evening of Thursday, Sept. 5, at Kenosha County’s KD Park.


The Twilight Tour will begin at KD Park, where Kenosha County Parks Director Matthew Collins will highlight the park’s master plan, which includes invasive species control, prairie restorations and storm-water management.


KD Park

It will then continue next door to Starry Nights Farm, where the Maggio family is raising organic, grass-fed beef, rotationally grazed on 140 acres of pasture. The Red Oak Restaurant will be onsite, serving wood-fired pizza made with local ingredients. Locally made beer and wine will also be available.


The cost is $15 per person, and includes food and beverages. Registration is required.


The Twilight Tour is being organized by Extension Kenosha County, Kenosha County Parks, Sustainable Kenosha County, Starry Nights Farm and The Red Oak Restaurant.


Sustainable Kenosha County is a team of Kenosha County employees from various departments and divisions who work to incorporate elements of sustainability in county government operations to improve efficiency, the environment and quality of life. Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


KD Park is located on Highway KD just north of Highway F in the towns of Randall and Wheatland.


Participants in the tour are encouraged to come prepared with a water bottle and lawn chairs or picnic blankets. This will be a rain-or-shine event.


As a sustainability challenge, those who bring their own utensils, cups and plates will be entered into a drawing to win a gift certificate to The Red Oak Restaurant.

For more information, click here.

What Now? Art, of course!

What Now? Art, of course!

With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of Summer, our activities will begin to migrate inward. Weather becomes cooler and a bit wetter, the kids are going back to school, beaches will no longer be an option, and even Harbor Market will eventually move indoors. But that doesn't mean that Kenosha will be bereft of fun. There are plenty of things to choose from, so today, let's take a look at art exhibits around town.

Lemon Street Gallery

September 4, 2019 - September 29, 2019

This month-long exhibit features the work of Lynn Johnston - Acrylic Artist, Karin Berg - Ceramic Artist, and Kavita Goski - Photographer. The Brick Gallery, located inside Lemon Street Gallery, will have expanded exhibit space for these artists. This month showcases the work of Lynn Johnston. Her work is created to make people smile and she tries to focus the viewer on the eyes of her subjects. Karin Berg finds her inspiration in primitive pottery, fabric art, and Scandinavian design. Kavita Goski tries to capture the untold stories of nature and people and give it her perspective.

Kenosha Public Museum

Watanabe: Japanese Print Envoy

August 17 – October 27, 2019

Drawn from the Chazen Museum’s collection of nearly four thousand Japanese prints, this exhibition features 50 works from one publisher: Shozaburo Watanabe.

UW Parkside

Triple Double - Artists Using Sport to Influence Culture

September 3, 2019 – October 25, 2019; Tues.-Thurs. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and by appointment. Closed holidays.

These artists combine investigations in art and sport to examine larger cultural phenomena

Jacqueline Surdell: Straight Laced

September 3, 2019 – October 9, 2019; Tues.-Thurs. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and by appointment. Closed holidays.

Jacqueline Surdell, an athlete and ex-volleyball player, uses the drive and endurance honed as an athlete to make physical, weighty tapestries from rope and re-purposes sport detritus, like old gym flooring, in her sculptural works.

Postcards from Italy

September 3, 2019 – October 23, 2019; Tues.-Thurs. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and by appointment. Closed holidays.

This exhibit is located in the Mathis Gallery of “The Rita” (Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts & Humanities) on campus.