Monday, May 24, 2010

unhappy endings

I checked in with the animal shelter today concerning the status of my new small black kitty friend and I learned some sad news. He had tested positive for feline leukemia and was euthanized.

This was certainly not the ending that I was hoping for. Familiar feelings of sadness and grief return. Rest in peace my small black kitty friend, I hope your new life in heaven is filled with more blessings than this side had to offer.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I have written in the past about my childhood dream to rescue all the homeless animals and provide for all their needs. I am again faced with having to wrestle with that dream and limits such as finances and time.

Over the past few months I have noticed a new kitty in town, a small black long-haired one. Initially I saw him around a two-block area. Then in the last few weeks, we had a warm night and the black kitty was on our front porch roof! He was siting up there talking with our cats through the screened window. Everyone seemed to be getting along well and they were all curious about each other. I speculate that he was more interested in Willow but maybe not.

The next day he appeared on the roof of the kitchen, staring into the upstairs window. He was eager to visit with our kitties. We learned from a neighbor a few blocks down that he was a stray and had shown up in January. Apparently the neighbor had been feeding him. Between his more frequent visits and the recent cold rainy weather I figured he could use a comfy kitty spot. So, I fixed up the metal pokey on the back porch so he could get out of the wind and have a soft spot. I also provided food and fresh water. He gobbled the food and in a few short days I was able to pet him.

He seems to have a sweet nature to him and he has beautiful yellowish-green eyes against his jet black. He enjoyed the petting and rubbed his head against my hand many times.

Tonight I noticed he appeared to have a slight limp. He looks rather mangy - he must have fleas or some other bugs that causes him to itch. I figured it would be good to bring him to the vet so they could make sure he was not suffering and turn him over to the animal shelter. I was nervous about picking him up in case he bit or scratched me, but he did neither. He settled in my arms like he was used to be carried around.

He is currently at the vet and I am torn up inside about letting him go. I want him to have a good home. I also want to be financially wise. Do I dare take on another cat?! Or do I trust that he will make it through the system and find a wonderful forever home. Can I really rescue every animal in distress that shows up at the door?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

cat person

I can't believe I used to be a dog person. I recently had the opportunity to dog sit a friend's dog and I once again was reminded about how superior cats are.

Dogs are one dimensional. They are very predictable and seem to have a limited number of behavioral actions from which to choose. Perhaps that is the result of being so people dependent. It seems they can just barely think on their own but are always waiting for the human to do something so then they can react.

Cats on the other hand are multi-dimensional. They are always scheming, always up to something. Whether its ambushing each other or exploring new boxes, their actions are rarely dependent on humans.  Willow crouches in a window hunting birds on roof tops that are half a block away. But that doesn't mean they are not interested in what the humans do. Nahum is always looking to interact.

And just when you think you have his behavior figured out he will completely change it up. Nahum recently opened the cabinet door below the kitchen sink and made himself a napping spot on top of the stack of soft kitchen dishtowels.

My friend Lisa, a dog person with an interest in cats, accuses me of having a Grinch-like heart because my love of cats displaced my love of dogs. She says my heart should have grown to accommodate both a love for dogs and now a love for cats too. Perhaps she is right, but it feels like making the leap from a used Ford Pinto to a new Mustang and then being asked to fully enjoy both. Or maybe a better comparison; discovering Cabot's Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese after a steady diet of Tillamook cheese and then expecting to be satisfied with the Tillamook again.

Perhaps it is less a matter of expanding one's heart and more a matter of refining one's tastes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

substitute moths

Today, I crossed another line.

It is a little too early for there to be a daily supply of naturally occurring quality moths for Willow to hunt. Perhaps the cold nights don't agree with the moths.

A few days ago, I was over at some friend's house and I asked them if they had any moths to spare. I planned ahead and even brought a container with me. We turned on the outside lights, gave it a few hours and then went to see what was available. There was only one weenie bug and it managed to escape from the container before I got back home.

Today, when I was at the cat store, I purchased some live animals for Willow to hunt. Two crickets. I had very mixed feelings about crossing this line, but I went ahead with it.

I knew they wouldn't provide her the same satisfaction as moths, but I figured it would be better than nothing.

Upon returning home, I released them for her on the porch and she went right after them. It wasn't much of a hunt. She played with one for a bit, pawing at it, trying to get it to move around. After a few minutes, she tired of the play and ate half of one. She left the other half, perhaps a commentary on the taste of cricket versus moth. Theo happily snarfed up the other cricket.

one year ago...

One year ago today Nahum and Willow came into our lives.

After spending some time browsing the listings for available cats, I ran across these two, which were being adopted out together by a local rescue group, Oasis For Animals. After some emailing, I arranged for us to meet them at a nearby Petsmart store. Every Saturday they bring a selection of available cats in hopes they will find forever homes.

These two found their forever home.

It didn't take long for them to settle into their new home.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

this week in pictures

Kitty party on the bed

Nahum working Theo out of the bed

Willow on the rack

Kitty party on the loveseat

Willow in the portable pokey

Special super-deluxe kitty fort

Theo hiding out in kitty fort

Theo in kitty fort

Kitty's patrolling front entry

Theo and Nahum enjoying a snuggle-fest

Monday, May 10, 2010


One year ago today Max died.

I still miss him dearly.

In every way he was the perfect cat - the perfect blend of snugly, playful, curious and fuzzy!

We celebrated his life this weekend by remembering him through stories and pictures.

Saying goodbye sucks - it hurts like nothing else.

 I love you Max.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Theo's big adventure

Theo had quite the unplanned adventure today. I was planning to take him into my counseling session this morning followed by a visit with our friend, Lisa, and her chocolate lab, Gromit. On the way home the car broke down alongside the road.

I was able to pull off the main road onto the shoulder of a smaller road. I called the roadside assistance people and together, Theo and I waited for 3 hours for the tow truck. Theo was a good sport about it, he sprawled out in his pokey and took several big naps. He would occasionally get up say hello and check things out. Our time-killing options were limited by the rainy weather and not having the cat carrier bag.

When the tow truck eventually came, Theo got to ride in the front seat with me. The truck was very loud, which scared him. He settled into my arms meowing a protest every few minutes as he took in the speeding scenery. Thankfully, we just made it to the dealership before they closed. I rushed into the service department with Theo in my arms. As I explained what was going on with the car, Theo attracted a lot of comments from employees and customers, "I have never seen a cat on a leash before!" "He is so relaxed, that's amazing!" The reality was even though he may have looked relaxed to others (especially when compared to the average never-leave-the-house-cat), Theo was scared (evident by his shivering, excessive shedding and short quick breaths). Even with being scared he behaved remarkably well.

The dealership was kind enough to give us a ride home, which meant Theo got one more ride in my arms in a strange vehicle. He again did beautifully.

Theo makes a great ambassador for the feline community. He represents to the peoples what a strong, risk-taking, bold kitty can accomplish. He certainly amazed a lot of people today - including me. I was very thankful to be in the presence of his easy going nature all throughout this ordeal, it helped me to stay calm and not freak out. I am proud of my Theo.

Theo was thankful to be home and will sleep very well tonight!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Last year at this time was excruciating. Max's health was declining. His body was getting tired of the constant fight against ailing kidneys. He spent the weekend in the hospital having his kidney's flushed in hopes of giving him and us more time.

We didn't know it then, but Max was living his final week.

Sunday, May 2, 2010