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      Wednesday, July 05, 2006

11:47 AM - 07/05/2006

The topic: Missing Ciara

It’s weird. It’s like she’s been gone for months, not days. My emotional state isn’t raw. Her absence doesn’t feel “fresh”, if that makes any sense.

Maybe it’s because she’s slowly been leaving us since the beginning of the year and I just didn’t know it.  Thinking back on it, I wouldn’t doubt if she had cancer. From the first time she started limping, she never did get better.  Sure, the metacam helped at the beginning, but towards the end, when the vet said she could have it every other day, it wasn’t working so good, she was still pretty sore.

And the way this thing progressed up her back would indicate something that spreads or grows, like cancer does.  Whatever it was, I know it was nothing that could be stopped, no matter how many vets or specialists she saw.  And I think she knew that, too. It’s spooky the way she just crashed within hours of having that MRI scheduled.  Almost as if she was saying “don’t waste our time on something like that, it won’t do any good”.

Her ashes should be back tomorrow.  She’ll be home forever.

      Sunday, July 09, 2006

08:11 AM - 07/09/2006

The topic: Kittens!

The kittens are absolutely the cutest things in my life right now (sorry, Brian).

They started sleeping with us a couple of nights ago (a few Sundays ago Ron Howard was on the bed in the morning and had to pee; guess where he went? they didn’t spend much time on the bed after that) and it’s just so adorable being woken up after four in the morning when they decide it’s time to play.  *lol*

They’re all over the bed and the bodies under the thin sheets. Brian’s feet get really hot so his feet will be out in the open, along with part of his lower legs.  Little tiny kitten claws feel so good so early in the morning.  Then they get to wrasslin’.  And so far, they’re right up against my back when they do this type of kitten play.  Oh, and don’t forget the tiny kitten squealing.  There’s lots of tiny kitten squealing during the tiny kitten wrasslin’.  And tiny kittens can squeal really loud. 


They’re growing, they’re sweet, they’re all over the place.  I started letting them outside last week and they don’t venture further than in front of the rosebushes.  Grass is something new and odd to them.

This morning their mom was even outside playing a little with them. She gets spayed on the 17th, it was the first opening they had. Brian thinks she’s going into heat. She might be, she cries a lot.  But she’s not crying so much so I hope Jackie didn’t get to her.  *sigh*

I’m glad they live here.

08:30 AM - 07/09/2006

The topic: The pool

It’s been really hot here.  But last week I got very tired of the air conditioning being on and the house being closed up.  I decided to tough it out and just live with fans and open windows, closing blinds as the sun made its way higher in the sky.

And although I haven’t spent much time poolside, I will go down for a quick dip if I get too hot.  Brian’s been doing the same.

So, yesterday, he did the yard work, mowing the lawns, etc. Then he did some stuff down by the pool.  When he was finished, he came into the house and went online.

A few hours later he went back outside.  When he came back in, he told me he forgot about having the hose in the pool (the streambeds are leaking again) and the pool was actually overflowing.

I’m glad it was him.


08:51 AM - 07/09/2006

The topic: Captain

He’s very slowly acclimating. He has a new spot, not under the loveseat, but at the bottom of the cat tree forest in the garage, next to the litterboxes.  From there, he can watch and meet the other cats.  Hopefully, once he gets used to them and realizes they aren’t a threat to his happiness and wellbeing, he’ll come out of his shell.

His fur is very soft, but not very abundant, which surprises me. 

He’s only been here three weeks and he was used to being the king of his little community, from what I understand, and this place is so different.  I really hope he comes around sooner rather than later.  I’d love to get some pictures of him, but his little cubbyhole is dark and it’s hard to focus a camera in a dark area.

      Monday, July 10, 2006

10:11 AM - 07/10/2006

The topic: Boss cat

The jockeying for position has begun.  I’m surprised.  It wasn’t like this after we lost DeeJay, but it’s so bad right now.  I guess Ciara was the queen of the house.  I didn’t know this. 

Since she’s been gone, quite a few of the cats who spent most of their time as far away from the house as possible during the day, are closer to it. On the patio on chairs or in the condos we put out for them.  And Pete has been spending quite a bit of time inside during the day.  He hasn’t done this in years.

But then there’s Sagwa. Sagwa is being very, very bossy. He’s chasing some of the other cats.  This morning it was Pete and Katie. It comes close to more of attacking them.  I’m keeping a close watch that it doesn’t get out of hand.

10:24 AM - 07/10/2006

The topic: Handsome

He’s not doing well right now. He’s tired and he’s not eating much. He doesn’t show the great obsession with food.  There’s a possibility it’s something temporary, something the kittens had a few weeks ago.

He’s also gotten very thin. 

Keep a good thought for this old kitty cat.

      Wednesday, July 12, 2006

12:24 PM - 07/12/2006

The topic: Handsome

He’s doing better. 

Yesterday morning he was begging for food when I fed KittyMeeze, so I gave him some.  A little later, I gave him some goat’s milk.  After that, he wasn’t doing so well.  I did the hydration test on his back and it appeared that he was a little dehydrated.  I tried giving him fluids (wisely, I only filled one 60cc syringe) and got about twenty into him before his protestations became too strong.  He felt cold to me and I put a blanket over him when he was curled up in Brian’s recliner. He stayed there for hours. The nap must have somewhat rejuvenated him because he became a little more alert than he had been.  And during the rest of the day, when I’d see him sleeping, for the most part he was actually sleeping on his side, not doing the meatloaf thing that I’m sure we’re all familiar with for a kitty cat who’s not feeling well. 

Because I’ve been finding vomit in the morning, which I know is his because of how much liquid is in it (he swallows all of that drool), yesterday, I started giving him an additional quarter tab of Pepcid (I’ve had some people who have CRF cats advise me that more can be given) at night.  There was no puke this morning, but that might be because the food was all pulled up last night before we went to bed.

This morning, he was very, very hungry.  He made sure he was in the kitchen when I made Brian’s lunch, hoping that something might fall. I gave him his chicken, which he inhaled. He didn’t appreciate the other cats, though, and growled them away whenever they got too close.

He ate all of his l-Lysine in the babyfood and he had some cottage cheese. So, I think he’s feeling better. I’m hoping it was just some sort of little virus he caught.  As I’ve said before, the FIV he has does a number on his immune system and it’s hard for him to fight some of this stuff off.  That’s why it’s so important that he gets the l-Lysine on a daily basis, because it sure helps.  With all of the stuff that was going on with Ciara, he wasn’t getting the amino acid every day like he should have been.  I’d make it up for him, but I didn’t stay to make sure he finished.  He’ll fight for that chicken, but he’s not all that gung ho on the babyfood any longer. It’s pretty easy for one of the other cats to nose him out of it.

Now, we just wait. Thanks for all of the prayers and good thoughts and healing energy you’ve been sending his way. 

12:41 PM - 07/12/2006

The topic: Benny’s summer do

He had his yearly shave this morning (the reason the food came up last night).  I’ll take pictures of him later.  I’m happy it was done so quickly.

When Ciara was near the end, one night I was dreaming and in the middle of the dream a voice boomed out “Benny’s sick!”  Of course, Benny didn’t look sick or act sick, but after all we were going through with Ciara and the loss of DeeJay and Annie earlier this year, it made me a little nervous.  So, when I called to make the appointment last week, I also requested they do a blood panel on him.

When I brought him in, I asked if there was anyway to see if he might be done early.  There’ve been a couple of times in the past where he was ready before the normal three in the afternoon pick up time.  And today was one of those, Kelsey called around 11:30 saying he was done.

When I paid the bill, they told me his bloodwork was “beautiful”.  Whew. They also told me what a sweet cat he was and what a very nice coat he had.

There are some people who think shaving a cat is cruel.  At one time, I would have agreed with them.  But one year, Benny gave me such a scare, I no longer agree.  Some cats do better shaved.

See, Benny isn’t a big lover of hanging out in the house.  At all.  He likes it outside.  During any kind of weather (think of the pictures I’ve taken of him in the house, dripping wet from the rain; he’d come in, dry off, go back outside and get soaked again, didn’t bother him in the least), hot or cold.  And he’s got this nice thick coat of fur.  Better for a cold weather climate than the heat we’ve got here in SoCal.

Anyway, one summer I found him outside, just laying there panting. He wasn’t moving much and I was very concerned he might be getting a heat stroke.  I brought him in the house, wiped him down with a damp towel and let him lay on the tile in the entry way.  He stayed there for a while, but went back outside.  I mentioned this at my vet’s office the next time I took a cat in and they said “we can shave him for you”.  And I made the appointment for him.

I gotta tell ya, when he got home, he was a completely different cat. He was so happy. He was super affectionate, he stretched out on the floor showing his tummy.  He was a content, happy cat. It’s hard to describe the difference it made in his attitude.  But it was for the better.

Brian doesn’t like the idea that he has to be masked (sedated) to get shaved, but Benny fights the shaving (he’s not like DeeJay who made the connection between the administering of fluids to feeling better) and it’s hard for it to get done properly.  We might not do this again, since Benny isn’t a spring chicken, but I think if we have the pre-anesthesia bloodwork done, he should be okay. 

Because it gets so miserably hot here and he so loves being outside.  And by the time it starts cooling off, his coat is almost back to normal. And we want him to be happy.

12:58 PM - 07/12/2006

The topic: Georgie’s eyes

I think George has Haw's Syndrome. Both of his inner eyelids are up, between a third and halfway. They aren’t like that constantly and he’s not acting sick.

He’s eating, doing a little fighting and well, just being George.  Normal.  His eyes just are weird.  After doing the internet search and finding out what it most likely is and maybe somehow tapeworms can cause it, I dosed him with something to get rid of any tapes he might have (and I know some of the cats do have tapeworms…).

It does look like the eyes are getting better.  From what I read, it might take weeks.  *sigh*

      Sunday, July 16, 2006

04:08 PM - 07/16/2006
The current weather is hotter than snot

The topic: Housework

I’d planned on getting some housework done this morning. Vacuum the west side of the house before it got too hot and test out my new FloorMate.  Except Handsome has been sleeping on the back of Brian’s recliner most of the day. 

Okay, I put him there early, since it seems like he’s a lot more comfortable there than laying on the base of the cat trees in the living room. When he’s on those, he doesn’t sleep nearly as much, but spends a majority of his time huddled and keeps his head up, eyes open.  On the recliner, he relaxes.  Since he’s not been feeling well, I figure it’s better for him to be on the recliner.  Sleep is good for a weak body.

Friday, I went to the vet’s office and got some meds for him, the clindamycin drops.  They’re nasty, but they work.  Today, he’s actually eaten almost an entire cat of Hill’s A/D all by himself.  And each time he eats, he eats just a little more than he did the last time.  Then I pick him up and put him back on the recliner.

And he sleeps.

I watched him pee this afternoon and he’s got a good strong flow, with a lot of urine.  He’s started drinking water again and that will help with his hydration.  I have heard him sneeze a couple of times, so I’m believing he’s just feeling punky because of some sort of cold virus.

The housework can just wait.

      Monday, July 17, 2006

10:14 AM - 07/17/2006
We found two pennies on our walk this morning
The current weather is muggy

The topic: Captain

Captain is making strides.  He still spends most of his time in the garage.  I had been leaving the garage door open for the air to circulate and he’d go outside and hang around on the cement pad.  A couple of days ago, I saw him on the patio. 

Because we’ve been trying something new with the air in the house (still don’t want to turn on the A/C), I’ve shut the door and just leave the window open with a fan in front of it.  So, Cappy found a new way to go outside.  Through the house.  I did show him how the catdoor works, I hope he catches on soon.

He’s not as hisspitty to the other cats, but he’s still not real warm.  Monica doesn’t bother him too much, they sniffed and there was no hiss at all from him.

So, yesterday, I was able to take some decent pictures of him.


In the bottom picture, you can see how his face is kind of flat. He's a beautiful kitty.


10:21 AM - 07/17/2006

The topic: Handsome

He was pretty hungry this morning because I pulled all food up last night (Lorelei’s spay appointment is today). I gave him a piece of chicken, which he threw up while I was gone to the vet.  He didn’t puke all night.  I’m wondering what the trigger might be.

Anyway, today is the third full day of his meds and I really think they’re helping him.  He still gets his l-Lysine in baby food in the morning.  I stopped the bone meal because the acupuncturist of Ciara’s said bone meal was garbage.  He said it’s heated so many times and at such a high heat before it’s pulverized, it loses any thing in it that might be effective.  I did start adding a fish oil capsule to the food, though.  I just started that last week. At first I tested it to see if he’d eat it and he lapped the oil off of my fingers.  He liked it, so now he’s getting it on a daily basis.

He lapped up some diluted goat’s milk, then I gave him the rest of the can of A/D from yesterday (I heated it a little) and he finished that.  He sat there for a while, then I put him on the back of the chair in the family room.  He settled in and I could hear him purring from my spot on the sofa.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard him purr that loudly.  So, I think he’s feeling pretty good right now.

I was watching him sleep and it looks like it’s not hurting him so much.  Last week, it seemed that it hurt him to swallow (like when you’ve got a sore throat), which could be from those sores the vet said he might get because of the FIV.  He’s not doing that right now and he’s also not drooling as much.  I caught him washing his face yesterday after he ate, and grooming is always a good sign.

Giving him the drops always used to be such a PITA, but after all the stuff I was giving Ciara, this is a walk in the park.  I grab a towel, get Handsome, get on the floor, kneel, then sit back on my feet, put Handsome between my legs, his head facing the same direction as mine, his butt against my feet so he can’t squirm backwards, put the towel around his legs, do a semi-chokehold on his legs and use my other hand, holding the dropper with two fingers, I open his mouth a little with the other fingers and squirt the med in.  Then I let him go.  He doesn’t hold it against me, thank goodness. The meds won’t have a chance to work if I don’t give them to him.


10:43 AM - 07/17/2006

The topic: Spay day!

Lorelei is in right now.  When I took her in this morning, I was told there’s a good chance she can come home this afternoon since the vet started using a new anesthetic and the cats wake up much earlier.  Way cool!  After Phoebe eviscerated herself when she was spayed, I was reluctant to leave a cat overnight.

She’s getting more relaxed here, this morning she was running around the backyard and up one of the trees.  I love it when a newcomer finally feels safe enough to enjoy the place.


10:53 AM - 07/17/2006

The topic: Kittens

The kittens are growing up so fast.  They love being outside, but come inside to use the litterboxes, which makes me laugh.  This weekend, Brian and I were back by the shop and Ron Howard started running back towards us.  We looked at one another and both said “this could be a problem”, ‘cause the kittens are so little.  I don’t think, though, if one of them fell in the pool, there’d be a problem for it to climb out. I know first hand how sharp those little claws can be.

I’m sure their mom won’t be so receptive to the feeding when she gets home from her spay.  She has been spending more time out of their reach for the past few weeks, sleeping on the dressers.  So, I don’t think their being weaned will be so traumatic for them. 

under one of the cat trees on the patio; you can see that Rory's eyes are no longer the kitten blue

Rory "hides" under a hose, before attacking her brother

11:10 AM - 07/17/2006
I'm watching Boniva commercial with Sally Field

The topic: Needy kitty cats

I don’t know what’s going on with some of the cats.  A couple of them are just really needy.  It started over a month ago.  I wondering if Ciara’s illness had anything to do with it.  Cats can sense things we humans can’t and maybe it’s upset some of the other cats so that they need affirmation that we still love them and they need it a lot.  It started before Captain, Lorelei, Rory and Ron Howard came here to live, but maybe their arrival magnified the problems.

Mystie is one of the needy ones.  There are times she just won’t let me be, trying to climb on me, laying on me, just wanting to be close.  Another needy one is her sister, Katie.  Katie doesn’t want to be held, but she wants to talk. And she wants your full attention when she tells you what she thinks you need to hear.

Another needy one is Benny. He follows me all around, snuggles with me whenever he gets a chance and seems to need to be reminded that I love him.  I hope whatever is going on with them passes.  I hate that they seem so insecure right now.

      Tuesday, July 18, 2006

06:57 PM - 07/18/2006

The topic: Lordy
It would appear that Ron Howard's ears are having a growth spurt all their own.

      Thursday, July 20, 2006

09:09 AM - 07/20/2006

The topic: Worst nightmare yet

I dreamt that someone dumped hundreds of cats in our immediate neighborhood. All ages. Nursing mothers.  Kittens with their eyes still shut. In boxes, or just loose.  There were two queens nursing, but there were more kittens separated from their mothers and we needed to get them all back together.  None were injured or sick, all were healthy (although not fixed).

Neighbors were helping and I had realized that we needed professional help, so I was getting ready to call the Humane Society when I woke up. 


      Friday, July 21, 2006

07:04 AM - 07/21/2006
We found a penny on our walk this morning

The topic: The weather

Okay.  That’s enough with the humidity.  And the heat.  I’m ready for a break. 

Gah, I’ve got so many projects to do and I just can’t do them.  I can’t focus.  All I want to do is lay on the sofa with the fan pointed at me, going full blast and read.  Or sit in the pool where it’s shady and read.

The office is the hottest room in the house in the afternoon.  I most certainly don’t want to be back here.

I’m so tired of the noise from all of the fans, the attic, ceiling and table fans.  I want quiet. 

I want it to cool down.

I keep telling myself that sweat is good, it’s pushing out toxins.  I think I don’t have any toxins left at this point. 


      Monday, July 24, 2006

08:29 AM - 07/24/2006
We found a dime and two pennies on our walk this morning

The topic: Still the weather

It’s still miserable.  I know we’re not the only miserable place in the country and I know that other places are more miserable (which I find hard to imagine, because I don’t think I could be any more miserable).

We ran the A/C this weekend and it was nice.  Until the A/C tried to get to 80°.  Then it ran and ran and ran.  Last night, I’d shut it off for a half hour, then turn it back on for ten minutes.

Yesterday morning, we went to breakfast.  We headed up to Descanso, where there is a nice little restaurant called “The Descanso Junction”.  Good food, reasonable prices.  Portions are too big, though, I never finish. Anyway, on the way up we saw smoke from a fire.  While we were eating, we saw firetrucks going by. The fire was in an area known as Japatul (Hap-uh-tool).  Last night, our sky down here was filled with smoke from the fires that were spreading.  Lots of areas evacuated.

Before we went shopping (really low on dry cat food), Brian was out talking to a friend who dropped by.  I finished cleaning the litterboxes and took the bag o crap out to the dumpster. I went up to listen in on the conversation, adding an occasional comment.  The discussion got around to the heat and I told them that I was certain the oil companies are behind this weather.  So us hot saps out there in pay for your use land will be screwed even more deeply. I just know they’ve got some sort of “turn up the heat” machinery and they’ve changed the weather to their advantage.  And the visitor laughed and said “and I bet somehow Bush is behind it”.  Yeah!  Yeah!  Those oil people are his chums, they’re all in the same category and I bet the gummint known as Dubya is letting his buds use gummint top secret stuff to make us all so freaking miserable. Hey, Dubya does lots of stuff he doesn’t want people to know that he’s doing, I bet that’s it.


08:40 AM - 07/24/2006

The topic: Handsome

Amazingly, he’s doing better.  I’m sure the antibiotics he’s been getting have played a big part in his recovery. 

I also started adding fish oil to his morning baby food and l-Lysine morning mixture, bulking that up somewhat with some Nutrical. 

He puked this morning for the first time in three days and that’s wonderful.  That might be because he started grooming again and pulled off lots of nasty fur (his drool is like glue on his fur).  I did get a Pepcid down him this morning.

Something else I started, and I don’t know how smart this is of me, is I started giving him a small amount of Metacam every other day.  I think that’s helping him, too.  His back has never seemed all that good ever since he’s been here, I wouldn’t doubt if there was some major injury to it in the past.  Last week he was kneading the pillow on the sofa and moved just right that he slipped off the arm and his claws were caught in the pillow and he twisted a little trying to get loose (he needed help, it was that bad) and last night he fell off the back of the recliner.  So, maybe the pain killer will help him a little.

I know we’d all feel better if this heat would let up, it’s taking its toll on all of us.

      Tuesday, July 25, 2006

07:29 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: First place

Laurence Simon runs a caption contest on the Dead Pool portion of his website.  I don’t usually play, but last week he had a photo up that just spoke to me.  That look on Dubya’s mug just said it all…

And I played.

And I won!


The Dead Pool: Caption Contest #29

10:54 AM - 07/25/2006
We found a dime on our walk this morning

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY!

Today's (and first ever) "Tummy Tuesday" model is none other the little Ron Howard!



Be sure to check out the Friday Ark #97 for more animal related blogging.

11:01 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: The weather

Good news.  It’s supposed to start cooling down a couple of degrees a day and in the middle of next week, that high that Dubya and his cronies have up over part of the southwest, the one that’s pulling in the tropical moisture, is supposed to go away.

If I hadn’t alerted the public to this conspiracy, chances are it would be there until late October.


11:09 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: Thanks, Potter

So, we’re having this miserable hot weather and I’m trying to use as little energy as possible. Mine, not the G & E company’s.

In the morning, I get up first. Open up the house. Fire up the computers. Turn on the fans. Get dressed. And when Brian rolls out of bed and is getting dressed for the morning walk, I make the bed.

He hangs his walking clothes up in his bathroom and his shoes are under the bed.  He gets dressed in the bathroom, comes out and sits on the chair in the bedroom to put on his tennies.  This morning, Potter was insistent on being held.  Brian obliged, then set him down on the made bed.  I hear Brian yelling. 

I go into the bedroom to see what’s up.  My side of the bed is unmade.  Brian looks at me, says “Potter peed on the bed and it’s all the way through to the mattress pad”.  Gah.

I’m doing laundry right now.  I didn’t want to do laundry today, at least, not the bed clothes.  Later, Potter was up on the desk, peeing on the towel Brian has covering his paperwork files. 

Maybe Potter has a problem.  Maybe I should start him on amoxi.

Cats.  Gotta love ‘em.

11:15 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: Making jewelry

I made nine more necklaces this past week (well, I had three of them already designed, I just had to string them).  I’m waiting for some more supplies because I’m going to try my hand at matching earrings.

They’re all pretty nice.  I like to use the Swarovski crystal in them because I like shiny things.  I really like to watch these things sparkle in the sun.

I’ve got some with Grade A cat’s eye beads (which aren’t really cat’s eyes, they’re some sort of manufactured fibre-optic glass) as well. 

They’re very nice. At least I think so.

11:18 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: Kitten Sleep

I caught Rory snoozing on the back of Brian's recliner last Friday and she looked so very relaxed, I had to get the picture. Luckily, the flash didn't distract her from the task at hand.


11:25 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: Remember Marco?

He didn't come inside when the other cats came in last night (I let them all stay out a little longer after the sun had gone down because of the heat; it was cooler outside). The sun was down and he looked so pleased, having the rock all to himself and surveying the area. I was able to snap a couple of pictures before he decided that I was more interesting than the rock.


tales from the parkside
11:30 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: The heat

The phone rang Saturday and it was mom. 

“Is your electric out?”

No, we’ve got power.  Her’s was out. 

According to our call this morning, it was out most of the weekend.  And the manager of the park didn’t call the electric company, the tenants did.  (They own their homes, rent the property; the utilities are added to their monthly bills.)  It was the first the electric company had heard.

One of the people calling let them know that it was a senior citizens’ park and that there were going to be heat related health problems. And there were.  Mom said there were four people were taken away in ambulances. Scary.

Mom thinks it’s because the equipment at the park is outdated. They bring in new homes and they use more power overall and it’s overloading what they’ve got. They need to be replaced.  And mom knows if they’re replaced, their rents will go up accordingly.

11:51 AM - 07/25/2006

The topic: The good mother

I’m not real up to date on momcats.  The only ones I knew, before Lorelei, were the feral moms.  Like Little Guy, the mom of Sammy, Opie, Richie, DaNiece and Angel. She was a good mom.  Well, I don’t exactly know how good because we snagged the kittens before they had a chance to grow up wild, then she was eaten by a coyote.

Little Bit had two viable litters and we grabbed those babies from her.  But she was only separated from the second litter for a couple of days, when she got spayed. Well, wait, maybe it was a little longer because we had her crated until she had somewhat recovered before letting the kittens in to see her.  And she let them be with her for a couple of weeks, then was done with them.  She didn’t want them near her, growling them away and slapping at them if they crossed her line.

But Lorelei.  Lorelei, man, she’s a good mom.  She loves her babies.  The night she came home from her spay, they were suckling and she was grooming them.  A week later, she’s recovering nicely from the surgery and this morning, I actually watched her playing with Rory on the patio.  I’ve never seen Little Bit play.  Bounce when she runs, yes, but never play. 

Just a little while ago, I was in the bedroom and I saw this:


She's such a good mom!

      Wednesday, July 26, 2006

09:13 AM - 07/26/2006

The topic: Carla

Remember a while back when I said she was back again and KittyMeeze was thrilled?  That was the last time we saw her.  She was here that one night, left and never came back.

And KittyMeeze stayed in the yard.  We haven’t seen him across the street since.  It’s almost like she came back to say “goodbye” to him.

09:26 AM - 07/26/2006

The topic: Kitty karma time

On our walk this morning, on the way home, there was a young cat with a collar at the side of the rode.  Probably had been hit by a car. 

I hope the kitty’s passing was quick.

Cathouse kitties get extra treats and smurgles today.

      Thursday, July 27, 2006

07:01 AM - 07/27/2006

The topic: The heat

It’s still bad.  A couple of days ago, it was a fairly pleasant day and because of cloud cover, didn’t get out of the 80s.  Right now, the house is about 80° and according to this morning’s weather report, it’s supposed to be cloudy all day.  One can only hope.

While on our walk this morning (and we’ve gone every day since it’s been so muggy, we’re downright proud of ourselves) a man was out watering and offered his hose.  I think he thought I wanted a drink, hell no, I took that hose and I ran water all over my face, head and down the front of my shirt.  It cooled me off a little, which was nice because this was right before our Tuesday and Thursday hill.  (We have a set route for each day and that’s helped us because we’re not “where are we going to walk this morning?”; we know when we walk out of the door which way we’re going.)

I told Brian that I don’t mind this type of weather occasionally.  But not week after week.  I can’t recall a time when it’s been this hot and muggy for weeks on end like it has this year.  I can’t even imagine like summers are in the south east.  Sure, if you grow up in it, you’re acclimated and it doesn’t bother you (as badly). 

I’m not acclimated.

09:29 AM - 07/27/2006

The topic: The kittens

It’s so entertaining to watch the kittens exploring.  For the past couple of weeks, they’ve had access to the backyard.  They’ve pretty much stayed on the patio, only occasionally venturing to the sides of the house, staying close to the building.

Well, yesterday, they went a little further into the yard by themselves.  And this morning, I watched as they climbed the swing and shimmied down, jumping the last few feet to the ground.  And I just grinned when their mother joined them. If what I was told was correct, she’s not much older than a kitten herself.  About fourteen months old. 

I hope they don’t find the pool just yet.  I’d like them to be a little bigger when they first fall in so climbing out won’t be so difficult.

mom and kittens rest after a hard morning at play

      Friday, July 28, 2006

08:55 AM - 07/28/2006

The topic: Sad day

I’m going to be doing something today that I haven’t done for years.  I’m going to memorial services.

My petsitter’s husband died last Saturday.  He was only thirty-six.  It didn’t have to happen.  It wasn’t anything he did wrong. It wasn’t a car accident, it wasn’t a work accident, he didn’t slip and fall and hurt his head.

It was medical malpractice.

Last Wednesday, he was having a hard time swallowing.  His wife took him to their provider’s ER.  He was given a shot, told he had a sore throat, then sent home.

Thursday, she took him back in.  He couldn’t talk.  They said he had “laryngitis”, gave him more meds, then sent him home.

Friday, she called a friend of theirs and asked if he could take her husband in, since he now was looking blue. This time, the hospital admitted him.

They took an x-ray and saw something in his throat.  Could be a tumor, could be an abcess.  They called in a specialist who gave Mike hell because Mike was having a hard time holding still.  Told Mike that he had other patients he had to see and he wanted to get this done so he could get to “his” patients.

I don’t think another doctor came in after that.  Becky spent the night in her husband’s room and Saturday, he kept trying to remove or do something with the oxygen mask he had over his face.  The nurse kept replacing it.  At one point, Mike looked at his wife, put his hands on his chest, and stopped breathing.  He died in the hospital.

She’s already had an autopsy done.  It was a ruptured abcess in his throat. Putting a tube down his throat would have kept him alive.

She’s already got a lawyer, who already has his medical files for the past year. 

She’s suing.

This health care provider is the same one who killed my father through their negligence.  They’re the same provider who said my mother had heart problems, even though the tests came up inconclusive.  They prescribed nitroglycerine for her.  One Sunday, we ended up at ER because she was having severe chest pains and couldn’t catch her breath.

After many tests, it turned out she had some sort of esophageal problem, due to acid reflux.  Not a heart problem at all.  The severe chest pains were heartburn and she couldn’t catch her breath because she was hyperventilating.

I hate this health care provider.  I absolutely hate them.  They kill people.

Mike didn’t have to die.  Becky didn’t have to be a widow so young.  Four children, the baby recently adopted, the next youngest (who was also a foster baby) turning a year old next month, didn’t need to lose their father.  The children are coping at this point.

Becky isn’t working.  She doesn’t want to sell their home because “Mike worked his ass off” to get it for her.  She won’t give it up.  She said she’ll take two jobs if she has to.

He didn’t have to die.

      Saturday, July 29, 2006

05:22 PM - 07/29/2006

The topic: Waddya think of Mel Gibson?

I always kind of liked him. Never saw the Passion of the Christ, but pretty much enjoyed most of his action adventure flicks. He seemed to be a fun guy from the Hollywood tripe put out on him.  Playing pranks, being a real jokester.

But, I’m beginning to think he’s not aging well.  Not aging well at all.

Mel Gibson coverup?

      Monday, July 31, 2006

08:58 AM - 07/31/2006

The topic: Handsome

After the course of clindamycin he quit drooling.  Now, about five days after, he’s drooling again and he sounds congested.

He’s not eating cat food at all and he’s turning his nose up at the chicken he used to jump for.  He did eat two jars of baby food this morning, so he’s still got an appetite, but I don’t know what’s going on with him. Whatever it is, it’s not something healthy and not something I want to go on.

So, I called the vet just a little bit ago and Handsome has an appointment to see him at 10:30.

Keep your fingers crossed that it’s something that can be treated. His FIV status leaves the door open to a lot of nasty things.

11:59 AM - 07/31/2006
I'm very, very sad

The topic: “Stuff Handsome eats” is officially retired

He’s gone.

He’d lost over four pounds since last year.  The vet checked his mouth and it looked good. Except his gums were very pale. The vet gave me a couple options, depending on the results of the blood test.  Basically, there were no options, since the major one was giving him sub-q saline with interferon added.  Handsome wouldn’t do sub-q fluids.  It was everything I could do to give him oral meds.

The vet felt Handsome either had the FIV related leukemia, that affected his bone marrow.  Or some other type of FIV related cancer. Either way, the prognosis wasn’t good.  When I said there was no way I could give Handsome the fluids, the vet looked at me and said “well, what do you want to do? He’s not going to get better.”  There was the elephant in the room, that no one wanted to acknowledge. 

Euthanasia was mentioned.  I said “then that’s what we’ll do”.  He looked at me and said “that’s the best decision and I’m glad you were able to say it”.

Hans was sedated, then he finally laid down on the towel.  The vet shaved a portion of one of his front legs and administered the killing solution.  Now, this is going to be really icky, I’ve never seen this before in all the times we’ve said goodbye to our pets and if you have a squeamish stomach, skip the next paragraph.

When Handsome stopped breathing, fluid started coming out of his mouth.  A brownish tinged fluid.  The vet put a small amount of pressure on Handsome’s chest and more fluid came out.  His lungs were full of this stuff.  That’s what he’d been “drooling” for all these months.  It wasn’t coming from his mouth at all.  And I knew that saying goodbye was the best thing I could have done for him.

The vet told me that we gave Handsome a good home.  A place of love and warmth, a place where he always had food.  We gave Hans a comfortable life. And for what it was worth, nothing we would have or could have done would have changed this outcome.  He also said he didn’t know how an animal could be so sick and still go on.

Hans had two jars of baby food this morning (which he puked up on the bed before I took him in).  But he did have a good last meal.  And for some odd reason, he purred up a storm at the vet’s office. Maybe he knew he’d soon be out of pain. 

When the sedative was taking effect, I whispered to him to say “hello” to Ciara for me.  And tell Annie and DeeJay we missed them.  And I wished him God speed.

I knew, when we took him in, when he was first diagnosed as FIV+, that his time with us would be limited.  I knew each day was another day of borrowed time. His throwing up was nothing new.  His drooling was nothing new.  His breathing always was a little hard. These are things he’d done since he first came to live with us.  But I think I knew that his time was near.  When I told Brian about his appointment, I told him that there was a possibility that Hans wouldn’t be here when he came home.  And I knew to take a picture of him before we left.  I thought, well, I’ll take one when we get home, but that little head voice whispered “but what if you come home alone?”.  He was a great cat, he was a fun cat.  I wish we’d had more time with him. I hope to meet him again someday.

Goodbye, Handsome. You’ll always be in my heart and in my mind.



Friday Ark #98 Be sure to check out the latest edition of The Carnival of the Cats, this week hosted by TBIFOC.

04:59 PM - 07/31/2006

The topic: Revisiting “Stuff Handsome eats”

I was looking back through my entries and I found one that had symptoms that sounded so much like what was going on today that I’m not feeling so guilty for not catching this sooner.  There are entries throughout that underscore that the symptoms he was displaying this past couple of weeks were so similar to benign symptoms in the past.  Guilt is a big thing for me.

But looking through the entries, I also found many of the “Stuff Handsome eats” variety and I thought I’d share them. These aren’t all of the “Stuff Handsome eats” posts, but they’re the ones where I was able to take pictures.

Help in the kitchen

Turkey sandwich

Frozen potato skin


Orange juice

My defrosting dinner

Brussels sprouts

Cottage cheese

I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as I did.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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