Sunday, November 20, 2016

In memory of our Rose...

Rose Christmas morning 2015

Saturday, November 19, 2016 we lost our Rose. She was 22 years old and headed for another Christmas with us after a year of several setbacks. We thought we'd lost her a few months back, but she rallied so well then that we didn't doubt she would continue to do so. And she did... until this afternoon when she suddenly had a Gran Mal Seizure on the kitchen floor. I have to say that after all these years and all the cats that have come and gone in our home, this was something I'd never seen. Her seizure was so violent and went on so long that it shocked DH and I. It lasted 2 - 3 minutes... and I didn't think she'd live through it... but she did. 

It was about 2:00 and our Vet closes at noon on Saturday. So we bundled her up and took her to the Emergency Animal Clinic.  They examined her and suspected a possible brain tumor, but at her age weren't recommending tests or treatments. She was acting strangely, growling and swishing her tail (which isn't that strange for Rose)... but it wasn't like she was angry at anyone, just at whatever was going on within her. 

After they took her in and got her settled, we were taken into the exam room to be with her. We thought they'd sedated her as she was lying curled up and not moving. But when we pet her, she'd swish her tail and growl. The Vet explained that they hadn't given her anything, but that after a seizure, an animal is generally worn out. I think she was in pain... (mental if not physical). We didn't know how the seizure had affected her and if she would be able to function, so decided that the kindest thing to do would be to give her a tranquilizer to calm her and make her comfortable, then to give her something to help her pass over. 

As the Vet said, she'd lived a good long life and that not many cats live to be 22. I think the fear that she could possibly have another of those seizures is what helped us make the decision. It was so awful that I couldn't imagine her having to go through that again. Rose was never a lap cat, but she had mellowed over the years and came to expect to be petted in the morning and anxiously awaited her dollop of cream whenever I had my tea.  


and lately...

She will be missed

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

lightness of heart...

I'm no poet, but years ago, I used to write a little poetry... just for myself.  Someone's blog reminded me of this when she recently posted a really pretty poem about teatime. My old memory got a jumpstart and I remembered this. 

"a cup of tea and me"

give me a garden
and a cat

beauty and quiet contemplation

add a favorite book
a cup of tea

       these are the wonders of the world
                       ... to me.

I don't know if some of you are on Facebook, but if you are, you might have read "A letter to the U.S. from John Cleese", the English Comedian (it may not have even been written by John Cleese, but it was funny non-the-less). It says that in light of the recent election, England was revoking our independence, re-instating the *u* in words like neighbour and favour, and went on and on about football, etc. I have to tell you that after these last few weeks, it felt *so good to laugh*.   Now I know that the situation here is serious, but give me a break. If you don't laugh, you will cry... and crying really doesn't help anything. So... if you need a laugh, and you haven't yet seen this, I'm sure you can google it somehow (as far as I know you can google anything).

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

hope lives on...

It's taken me a few days to collect myself after this election. Even now I don't have a lot to say. Was so totally floored by the outcome. But now I have decided to go on with life and let things unfold as they may. The world will handle it's problems as best it can... and so will the U.S.  Who knows? I like that saying "it will all be OK in the end... and if it's not OK, then it's not the end." So... hope lives on. 

Now I'll return to a safe subject... cats. Our 4 have been looking forward to the big Christmas Tree event! It's not for another 2 weeks, but they love having that huge tree in the house for a few weeks. We always get a fresh live - approximately 10 foot tree to put in the den. And the cats love it! They sleep under it, climb up into it's branches, and have a great time knocking ornaments off... and unstringing lights! It's the ultimate cat toy!

Ghost in Christmas tree

We actually haven't spent much time thinking about Thanksgiving or Christmas yet, but will get to it eventually. The elections, as well as a few other things have side-tracked us recently. And the weather is still relatively warm... in the 70's. 

It was nice enough to take a walk with my little grand daughter this morning down to the stables to see the horses. She will be 4 at the end of this month and is growing like a weed. Her little mind is growing too... as she asks "why?" for everything... and comes up with some pretty good answers on her own. At one point she told me that she kept thinking about 'something or other that she had left at home' and even though she kept 'telling her mind not to think about it.... it kept thinking about it anyway, Gra Gra ??' (got to love 'em).

Grand daughter in Halloween outfit

Again... walked around the house checking on cats and came across these pics.

Tux loves to lay on shoes

Julie has to move to table when I'm using the counter

Ghost hidden among pillows on bed

Rose at her favorite warm place by Aga

Life goes on...

We will continue to believe in all the good things that can be done. We will continue to work towards making them happen. Life seems to be a one step forward, two step back dance. But we will keep trying. Have a good week...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

the lizard whisperer...

First of all, these photos were shot this morning just so I'd have photos to go with my post.  The lizard in the pic is definitely not real... as you can tell from Ghost's expressions. In the first, she is interested, then dismayed, then a bit aggravated, and then mad.

"what the...?"

"oh... not real"

"What's with the camera?"

"Really, mom, this isn't funny?"

Twice this week I have found Ghost (Yes, Ghost! the last one of our cats I would expect) with a live lizard in her mouth!  Don't know how the little critters get inside the house, but they need to know that coming inside THIS house with our 4 cats is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. I've rescued some, but most have already been 'played with to death'.  They don't eat them. Heavens! That's a bit too gross for our well brought up kitties (they don't eat bugs either), but playing with them until they are no longer fun is not below their standards. I know it to be their feline instincts and can't condemn them for it... but still.

The first time I saw Ghost acting strange... I looked at her more closely and she had 2 legs and a tail hanging out of her mouth. I startled, then said, "Ghost! what have you got there?" She released it and  a good sized lizard (not the tiny gecko ones)  ran along the floor a few inches before she grabbed it again. 

You know, it's odd, but I've watched the outside ferals doing this... and there seems to be some type of honor code among them that the others (while fascinated) don't try to take the owner's prize. They watch... possibly waiting for the stalker to tire and give it up... but they don't jump in and try to take it. I find this interesting.

I did watch once when three outside ferals were surrounding a lizard in the backyard. These cats were not kittens, but not grown either (maybe 8-10 months). DH and I had seen these 3 hunt together before. We called them the 3 Velociraptors - working together, but not catching much. But I wish we had gotten this particular episode  recorded. 

The 3 had circled the lizard who kept backing up and trying to keep them in front of him. Then one cat would stretch out his paw and hit the lizard's tail and the lizard would spin around with his mouth open... and the cat would jump back. But the funny part came (and this could have possibly got us on World's funniest videos) when one did this and the lizard spun around and jumped at the cat latching onto the cat's mouth... who panicked and started swinging his head from side to side trying to dislodge him. The other cats all ran away. (I guess this is the advantage of taking the offensive...)

DH and I (as well as our kids and grandkids) have been entertained for years with the wildlife in our backyard.  We have learned how different species co-habitat - raccoons, feral cats, and possums all eating together or lying under a fan on a blistering summer day. We once saw a rabbit and a tree rat that were friends and would lay side by side in the sun every afternoon (we were having our kitchen remodeled that summer and the workers were astounded to watch these two). We have seen things that make us smile (like a big ol' Tomcat letting a young kitten sneak under him and eat his food), and seen things that made us cry (like not too long ago when a coyote jumped over the fence and snatched up a young cat right in front of us.)  But it is nature's way and we try to understand this as best we can. 

But back to Ghost and her new found achievement. We took Ghost inside when she was about 5-6 weeks old. Her feral mama and siblings would take off like the wind when we opened the back door... but Ghost would just sit there. We knew that something was wrong and that if we didn't take her in, she's never make it as an outside cat. The Vet didn't think she'd make it inside either... gave her maybe a year... suspected mental probs, diabetes, and genetic kidney disease. I still think her sight is affected and her agility is not great, but she has done well and is now going on 10. I'm probably making too much of her lizard catching, but I think this is a great accomplishment for her. So forgive me if I boast...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

a feral dilemma...

Update:  DH and I are recuperating from our croupy coughs. We did go to the doctor's this week as DH really felt bad... and was running a little fever. She tested us for the flu... negative... just croupy cough. Gave DH some antibiotics and since she knows that I don't do well on them, gave me a steroid injection. Anyway, we are both on the mend (I hope).

Today I want to discuss people who don't care for feral cats... or birds, squirrels, etc.  I don't understand it. I really don't. We've been living in this area for over 30 years and have always fed, watered, and tried to accommodate the critters that show up around our house from the creek area. These include birds, squirrels, raccoons, possums, box turtles, etc. We do occasionally see a coyote or a bobcat... but not too often. After all, we are on a creek and a greenback area. We've never had a problem with any of them. We're glad to share our space and our yard is officially a wildlife sanctuary with a sign out front that says it fits the requirements from the National Wildlife Association.

However, there are people in the neighborhood who want all the ferals gone. They don't want anyone feeding them and when they see that some gravitate towards our property, it bothers them. Monday someone left a leaflet on our door saying that someone in the neighborhood had complained about the ferals. So??  Why tell us?? Some do hang around our place as it is a safe environment, but what do they expect us to do about it??  It doesn't bother us to have a few cats laying in the yard or on the porch.

I guess I don't understand because I was always taught that if you had a problem, you took care of it yourself. So, if a neighbor has a problem with ferals on his property, he should call Animal Control or trap them himself - whatever he needs to do. Why are ferals visiting our property a problem for him/her?  We can certainly stop putting food out for the birds, turtles, ferals, etc. but it seems a shame... as it's always been our belief that if someone or something needs food, water, or shelter, you give it.  Animal Control is welcome to come by and pick up any ferals they want... if they can catch them. We can't.

Just venting here. Over the years we have taken feral kittens into our home (the 4 cats here on the top as example) and we have brought numerous others to our Vet for vaccinations and then to the local Animal Shelter to be adopted out. Both our Vet as well as the Animal Shelter records would show this. And we've also taken the mama cat that we were able to catch to be spayed, vaccinated, and released.   There's no doubt in our mind that our area has too many ferals, but I'm not sure that simply not feeding them is the answer. Besides, the feral cats reduce the rat and snake population down by the creek... and I do think this is a good thing.

I really would like a good answer to this dilemma, so please send me your ideas. But know that if you choose to comment by venting your hatred of ferals in general or saying something violent or mean, your comment will simply be deleted and not published.

Do you see the kitten inside the pumpkin?

feral kittens playing on the front porch