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      Monday, March 03, 2008

tales from the parkside
06:49 AM - 03/03/2008

The topic: Through conversations

with mom’s neighbors, friends and family, I’ve come to the conclusion that mom believed she had cancer.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but a few years ago, she went in for a colonoscopy and they couldn’t complete the procedure because she had quite a few polyps.  They followed up with one of the enema type tests and she was shown to be all clear.

Except, they never notified her.  And my mother, bless her heart, would worry anything to death.  I’m sure we’ve all known people like that. And she had herself convinced she had cancer of the colon “because her poop didn’t look right”.  Well, trying to convince her that diet plays a huge part in what our stools look like, she believed the worst. 

She did finally call Kaiser and got the news that she was fine, but somewhere, deep inside, she didn’t believe it.  And that’s why she started to lose weight. Because people with cancer lose weight.  Forget about the fact that people who don’t eat lose weight, her mind wasn’t working logically.  And I believe, that’s when this all started.

I spoke with one of my uncles yesterday and he told me that mom had told him when she knew it was time to die, she’d go out on her own terms.  She’d smoke and drink herself to death. And that’s pretty much the way it was.

She’d complained of stomach problems.  She complained of her stools not looking right.  I told her she needed to eat.  She believed she had cancer.  In her mind, eating would do nothing for her.  In my mind, it would have done everything for her.  But it was her mind. It wasn’t in my power to change it.

At least three of her neighbors mentioned suspicions of mom having had cancer.  Because, that’s what she told them.  She didn’t tell me, because she didn’t want me to worry.  If she had told me, we’d have gone to the doctor for some followup discussions or even tests.

Hearing these things from others make me feel less guilty.  Because I did do everything I could.  Mom had her mind made up, she made a decision how to do it and she did it. We thought she would pull out of it.  We seriously did.  About three to four weeks into treatment, we thought she’d be going home. But something happened in her mind and she started to eat less and hide the food and then, quit eating altogether.

It was her choice and I better understand why now.  It was the why that kept me awake.  It was the why that had me in tears.  Why did she do it?

I think I’m pretty clear on the why now.

I do have a ponderance, though. I asked Brian this morning at breakfast, okay, you think you have some sort of horrible disease and you find a way to end your life. Then, assuming there is a hereafter, you find out that you did not have a horrible disease, that you could have gotten better and had a good life.  Do you kick yourself in the butt for eternity?  Or just move on?

Which is what I have to do.

08:19 AM - 03/03/2008

The topic: Outfronts

Well, I petted the kitten last night.  Kitten wasn’t thrilled.  It kept running back from my hand, but eventually, the urge to eat was stronger than the disgust at being touched by a human.  I rubbed the head, stroked the sides and back.  Each time I moved my hand to a different area, the kitten would back off, out of reach.

Then come up for more food. And I’d take it a little farther.

The other cat, well, this other kitty was here this morning for breakfast when I put it out and came running.  It let me pet it.  I went inside, it finished the food (well, KittyMeeze helped).  I opened the door when all of the wet food was gone and this cat almost, not quite, but almost came up to the door to come inside.

Yep, definitely a pre-owned kitty cat.  Soon to be with its new owners.  Right here.

If I could just get that kitten, I’d grab this one in a second.  That’s the only reason I haven’t gotten it yet.

      Tuesday, March 04, 2008

09:03 PM - 03/04/2008

The topic: SiteAdvisor

Well, I found a forum for support and added to a thread regarding the problems I’ve been having with catcam.us.  Finally got an answer from someone and was called to task for referring to the SiteAdviser as “rat bastards”.  Well, maybe that wasn’t the best thing in the world to say about folks who’s help you’re gonna need, but, hey, I never got any response to my complaints, beyond the “we received your comment”.

No note of how long it would take, how far behind they are or what might have caused the problem.  Add to that the site verification delay, where I was unable to rebut their rating and it was very, very frustrating, especially in light of what else was going on at the time.

It made me feel better at the time.

      Wednesday, March 05, 2008

09:20 AM - 03/05/2008

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #81!

Welcome to a special Wednesday edition of Tummy Tuesday!  I didn’t realize I had a TT picture in the camera and here it is, Richie in all of his glory!

click for a larger pic


If you've got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!


      Thursday, March 06, 2008

09:19 AM - 03/06/2008

The topic: Mama isn’t

A mama.  That cat can’t be a mama, because that cat is a boy.  I know because I felt last night and boy, that cat has balls!

I’ll be bringing that cat into the house and we’ll be trapping the kitten.  All should be done by the end of next week.

I’m going to be gone from Sunday morning until sometime Tuesday, so I’ll start in earnest then.

Pray they stay safe until I can get them.

09:21 AM - 03/06/2008

The topic: A major thing for me

One of the things I’ve wished I had the nerve to do is to drive places I’d like to go.  Before I was married, I had no problem with driving anywhere, but since I got married, I got used to being a passenger.  Well, I don’t want to end up like my mother, afraid to go anywhere by myself and last month, before she passed away, I’d made arrangements to stay at the Anabella up in Anaheim.  I was planning on driving up by myself, visiting the parks by myself and driving home by myself.

As luck would have it, this was the same weekend some of my online friends had planned on going to Vegas (I was invited, but Vegas ain’t my cup o soup, I’d be miserably bored; and I had no way to get there, don’t fly and wouldn’t drive that far).  Well, a couple of my buds are going to leave Vegas and come back to the L.A. area and we’re meeting up on Sunday morning.  We’ll have a three day, two night pajama party. *lol*

Brian will stay home and take care of the cats. We will start putting a feeder of dry food in the backyard, because he won’t know if he got all of the kitties in at night.  He can’t tell the black ones apart.  You know, Phoebe, Little Bit, Joey, Ross and Monica.  Hopefully, all will go smoothly.

      Saturday, March 08, 2008

09:04 AM - 03/08/2008

The topic: Big “aw” here

      Tuesday, March 11, 2008

02:33 PM - 03/11/2008

The topic: The kitten is gone
Brian waited until I'd settled in when I returned from my trip to have me sit down next to him. He told me he had some bad news. It seems like the kitten had gotten up into the engine compartment of one of the neighbor's vehicles yesterday afternoon. The man didn't realize it. He called the house, he asked for me, Brian told him I wasn't here and he explained why he was calling. Brian took the kitten to our vet and the vet checked this little girl over (yes, she was a girl) and said that besides the problem with her leg, she most likely had severe brain damage (she was bleeding from the ears). Brian told them to help her to the bridge and that he'd find out what I wanted to do with her body. She'll be cremated and the ashes returned to us. We're calling her Violet (which I'd already thought of, if she was a girl). And she's with my mom. *tears* I'm getting that other cat as soon as I can.

      Sunday, March 16, 2008

08:40 AM - 03/16/2008

The topic: I’m sick

I’ve got a cold.  Brian started with the flu the Monday I was up at Disneyland.  I got home on Tuesday, and that night, the cold started.  I honestly thought I’d be better by now.

Well, I am better, but colds hit me hard at night with a cough.  I hardly cough at all during the day, but I coughed so much last night, I wet my pants.  Just a little, but damn.  The Tylenol stuff works and when it’s time is up, it’s like a switch was flipped and the coughing comes back.

Brian was achey from the flu.  I’m achey from coughing.

I hate the little tickle that starts in the throat and just gets stronger and stronger, until the only way to make it stop is to cough.  And once that starts, it’s hard to stop.

Bleh.  Well, at least my pants are a little less tight.

tales from the parkside
04:53 PM - 03/16/2008

The topic: I miss my mom

I miss her a lot.

There are times I see something, or hear something, or think of something I’d like to share with her.  I’d like to pick up the phone and talk with her, but I know she’s not there.

It’s hard.

The death certificates got here on Saturday, the 8th and this past Saturday, the 15th the notice got here that she was interred with my father on the 10th.  The day I was at Disneyland, the day the kitten Violet was sent to the bridge to ease her suffering. 

Last week, I started filling out the paperwork to close out her financial accounts.  This coming Wednesday, we’ll be meeting with her accountant and give him the needed papers so that he can do her taxes.  Then, we’ll start cleaning up her house, packing things away and making decisions on what to do with her furniture.  Brian’s niece is taking some of it, we’ll be taking some of it.  Mom was always very clear on the fact that she did not want the people from the park going through her house, going through her stuff.  She wanted everything given to St. Vincent DePaul’s, an organization that helps those in need. 

One of her accounts was at North Island Federal Credit Union.  On the phone, they’d told me they would need a copy of her will.  When I opened the folder, she’d also placed a print out of the location of dad’s remains at Fort Rosecrans Cemetary in San Diego.  It had obviously been printed out from a webpage and the print date was 02/14/2006.  Two years and a week before her death.  She was getting her ducks in a row that long ago.

She made the financial part of her death very easy for me.  I was listed as beneficiary on everything she had.  No worries about probate. 

This is going to be very difficult for me, going through her belongings.  The longing to hear her voice is deep. I want to hear her voice again, I want to share my life with her.  I want to call her and tell her I’m sick.  I want to give her new toys for Saint Patrick’s day. 

Maybe when we are able to get her place emptied and sold, it won’t be so bad.  Or at least, it won’t be so fresh.  Right now, it seems like she just left yesterday and at the same time, it seems like she’s been gone forever.


And she still smiles at me from the picture next to my monitor.  She always smiled for the camera.

In this one, she was smiling for me.

06:14 PM - 03/16/2008

The topic: Sick kitty

When I got home from Disneyland last week, Georgie wasn’t doing well.

His poop was awful, runny and stinky.  He wasn’t eating.  Brian said he ate a little on Monday, but would eat nothing for me on Tuesday.  Wednesday was pretty much the same and his stool was even worse.  His inner eyelid was up on both eyes.  He had a slight fever.  I called the vet and asked if pancreatitis could reoccur and was told it could.  I asked if I should bring him in or could I start medicating him with Baytril (I had a three day supply to start).  The vet said yes and I ordered more pills.

Within two days he was doing much better.  One morning there was no stool at all, and this morning, there was one little pile, back to normal.

Whew, that’s sure scary.

      Monday, March 17, 2008

02:51 PM - 03/17/2008

The topic: 101 Dalmatians

So, what to do on a cold Saturday night and you’re on the tail end of a cold and don’t feel like doing much?  You get your jammies on, cuddle up under a warm blankie, have a cup of hot chocolate with a cat or two (or three or four) next to you and watch a movie!

For the first time in decades, we watched 101 Dalmatians.  And what a fun movie it was.

I didn’t remember much of it from my childhood so it was like seeing it for the first time.  And I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  It amazes me how much I actually hate the bad guys in these movies and I cheer when they get their just desserts.  And I always smile (and even clap) for the happy endings.

And one of the best parts?  The biggest hero of all was a tabby kitty cat!  Yay, Sargeant Tibbs!  Good job, old chap!  It was pretty hairy going, though. 

You’re never too old for a Disney movie.  Never.  Check this one out.  Whether you’ve seen it once or a hundred times, this was a wonderful movie.  The extras are pretty cool, too, especially if you’re a Disneyphile (like we are).  I enjoy hearing new things about Disney, little pieces of trivia, those “well, did you know that….” 

And the restoration of the film is awesome. Much nicer than the VHS (that I popped in the player, just to check…did I ever tell you that Brian’s aunt and uncle owned a video rental store, back before the Blockbusters and Hollywood videos came along?  When the big places came along and he couldn’t afford to compete, we bought one each of the Disney cartoon movies) version.  So crisp and so clear. 

If you’d like to see the trailer for the movie, just click the link below.

Two thumbs up and many paws, too (we actually had a couple of cats sitting below the television, watching the action).

But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

      Tuesday, March 18, 2008

08:03 AM - 03/18/2008

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #82!

Today's bountiful belly belongs to Benny, who was still snoozing on the sofa when my day started. As he's aged, he spends more time indoors when it's nippy outdoors.

click for a larger pic


If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

      Sunday, March 23, 2008

12:11 PM - 03/23/2008

The topic: Introducing…...


This is the kitteh that came around with the foofy red and white girl who was sent to the bridge on the 10th of this month, the one I named Violet.  This is the kitteh who I originally thought was Violet’s mom, until I noticed the little hard huevos in the sack.  This is the kitteh I vowed to get into the house before anything bad befell him.  I told Brian Friday night, the next time I saw him at night (because I never saw him in the morning, I don’t know if he quit coming around then or I just had bad timing) I would bring his little fuzzy butt in and put him into my bathroom until I could get the little fuzzy butt to the vet.

And wouldn’t you know, he showed up Saturday morning?  Around eight?  And I didn’t hesitate, while he was eating, I scruffed him and carried him into the house.  He was scared and ran into the office, tried to climb the screen.  I thought “bad idea, get him into a smaller room with less places for him to try to climb and hurt himself trying to get out”.  And I grabbed him and carried him into the bathroom, my arms wrapped around him.

He tried to climb the mirror, he tried to climb the shower door.  He slipped off of the shower door (he was standing on the towel bar), into the full crock of water.  I got some towels and sat with him on the floor, putting him on my lap and wiping the excess water off of him.  He just splatted on my lap, waiting for the chance to slink off of it.  Which I finally let him do (I quit petting him) and he immediately went behind the toilet and started crying.

While he was there, I got a carrier and bungy corded the door open, got a large towel to place over it for privacy.  I set it up in the bathroom and pulled him from behind the toilet and showed him the carrier, with the towel to lay on and a towel over for privacy.  He scurried inside, as far to the back as he could get.  When he was situated there, I got a litter box for him, and also got him some water, fresh wet food and dry food.  I thought, for good measure, I’d see if he was interested in baby food.  He ate about a half of a jar and that was it for food yesterday.  He wasn’t interested in anything else.

I checked on him a couple of times an hour (I can’t help myself) and by the end of the day, although he wouldn’t come out of the carrier, he had no problem with my putting my hand and arm in and giving him scritches and pets.  He really likes having his tummy rubbed.  He started purring for me mid-afternoon and made biscuits for me. 

Brian got home around seven last night and didn’t seem too interested in checking on him, but I guess during the night, Pancho having been outside for some time and having the feral cat’s nocturnal schedule, started climbing the bathroom walls.  Brian said he spent about fifteen minutes with him, sitting on the floor and petting Pancho, who ran back into the carrier at the human intrusion.  I got up at four to let the cats out and hearing Pancho crying, I went in and he was sitting on the counter, talking to the kitteh in the mirror.  I also found the picture I have up on the mirror (with the hooks that you wet the back), was laying face down on the floor.  Fortunately, it wasn’t harmed and Pancho seemed to be okay.

When I got up to feed KittyMeeze and the rest of the clowder, I took a fresh can of food into Pancho, dished it up in front of him, as I was doing when he was out front.  He wouldn’t come out, so I put it in front of him in the carrier.  He ate half of it, then turned his head.  He was done.  I put the food outside of the carrier and picked up the bowls from yesterday and gave him fresh water.  I noticed he had pottied at some point during the night.  Good kitty, using the litterbox.

So, this morning I figured I’d take some pictures of him.  I got one yesterday, his first, but I got a bunch more this morning. And without further ado, here he is, the new guy, Pancho!

Pancho looks out of the carrier; he was making those biscuits when I took this picture.

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He loves having his belly rubbed.

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"Oh, yeah, that's a good spot."

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He's very gentle, not a claw in sight (and he does have his claws, I checked).

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The back side of Pancho. You can see the fluffiness of his tail, kind of, in this picture. He has an absolutely beautiful tail. I'm looking forward to seeing how nice he looks once he's had a chance to clean up.

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Pancho, side view.

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I wonder what his story is.  He’s obviously been a much loved pet at one point in his life.  Because of how affectionate he is and how he doesn’t wig out when we’re in there with him.  And he’s been on his own for at least a month.  With each passing day, he looked a little more worn, the white not so white and his poor little paw pads are really rough.  Did he get lost?  Did someone get him when he was a baby, having spent the first months of his life in a wonderful home, then being given away as a “free to good home” kitten? And then just tossed out to fend for himself?  It’s just so hard to imagine, because he’s just so laid back.

I don’t know, but I do know he has a good forever home with us.  I’ll be taking him to the vet tomorrow (if they can work him in) get him tested and checked out, then bring him back.  Depending on the tests (and I’m sure he’ll be okay, the only cat we’ve ever brought in with a disease was Handsome), I’ll let him out when I get the results.  Then we’ll make plans for his neutering.

And it’s funny about naming him.  I’ve never thought of Pancho as a possible name for a cat, but it just popped out one night when I was feeding him out front.  I wasn’t even thinking of a name at the time.  And although he isn’t responding to it yet, he doesn’t seem to mind it. 

So, a very happy welcome to Pancho, the new member of the cathouse.  We hope you enjoy it here.


Meet more cats at this week's edition of the Carnival of the Cats, hosted at Chey's Place. And may we at the cathouse say "Well, done, Chey!"

05:40 PM - 03/23/2008

The topic: FYI

Last week, I started on an archive page for the catcams.  I’ve got a few images saved on my hard drive and will upload them and tweak the look of the archive pages as I go along.

Each cat will have its own section.  So, if you’re wondering who that cat is…..

      Monday, March 24, 2008

11:21 AM - 03/24/2008

The topic: It’s a boy!


Vet says he’s between nine and eleven months old, so we’ll split the dif and put his birthday at May 2007.  He weighs nine pounds, seven ounces.  He’s healthy and he’s disease free (yay!). And he’s now out of the bedroom and in the general population. 

As we usually do with newcomers, they can’t go outside until they can do the cat door. And it’s absolutely amazing how many of the current residents forget how to use the cat door and will stand at one of the screen doors until you open it so they can go (a) outside or (b) come back inside. This wasn’t much of a problem when Bobby and Miss E came here to live, because the weather was nasty and the doors were usually shut anyway.  But it’s turned nice and the glass doors and windows are wide open and there’s nothing but screen between the inside and the outside.

Pancho was good for the vet and cried when he got home.  I thought (for about a minute) that he’d be better off in the bathroom until he calmed down, but he had a different idea and now he’s in the living room on the top of the kitty entertainment center, behind the pillows. 

And he’s being vewwy, vewwy quiet.

Oh, yeah, his neutering will be on April 1st.

      Tuesday, March 25, 2008

07:02 AM - 03/25/2008

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #83!

Georgie, feeling better after two weeks of baytril, spent a little time on the patio this past weekend. His favorite spot is in front of the backdoor, on the mat, which is nice and warm from the sun hitting it. He felt so good, he did the back and forth rolling on the back, albeit a little slowly, which made it perfect for the shooting of a belly pic.

click for a larger pic

Doesn’t he look happy?  Can you see the smile on his face?


If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

07:08 AM - 03/25/2008

The topic: The time change sucks

Yeah, I know it happened a couple of weeks ago, but I hate it beimg so dark in the morning.  I miss our walks.

Not that I’ve been in any shape to walk since I got back from Disneyland, with this stupid cold and it’s companion cough.  But I miss our walking, that’s for sure.

07:26 AM - 03/25/2008

The topic: Slept better last night

Before I went to bed, I took one Excedrin and one Excedrin PM.  Slept right through the night and didn’t wake up groggy at all (like I do when I take two Excedrin PM pills).  A good thing because I need some good rest. 

The cold and coughing kept me up, then Pancho crying kept me up and I’ve just been so tired.  Taking care of mom’s stuff was additional stress and I’ve got to get started on office paperwork and catch up with housework (both of which I let slide when I was visiting mom) and the taxes.  And my schedule is pretty full for the next few months. 

I have to open mail (which I haven’t for at least a month), input invoices to the company, make copies of those invoices for Brian’s paperwork, I have to balance the company checkbook (which hasn’t been done for two months, maybe more….online banking makes it so easy to not keep up; “gee, what’s the balance?  Oh, I’ll just log in and find out how much money is there…”), pay bills, then I’ve got to pull out the 2006 accounts payable and receivable, box those up and take them out to the shop for storage, them move 2007 over to the file drawer that I emptied of the 2006 stuff, then set up 2008. 

Do the same for personal.

Then get started on the 2007 taxes.

Which I hope to have done by April 8th.  Because I have to report for jury duty on April 8th.  April 1st, Pancho goes in for his neuter. 

So, I took my FocusSmart (compare to Focus Factor!) and have a pot of coffee going.  Soon, the FS should kick in and I’ll get busy working. 

I always breeze through this stuff once I get started, it’s the getting started that is the problem.

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lisaviolet is seventy 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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