Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Kitty 2018

This year's competition for Christmas Kitty was fierce.

The first round of tryouts...

Pierre wasn't interested in the festivities.

The cats all gave it their best, which presented the judges with quite a challenge. This is not a kitty beauty pageant! Each Christmas Kitty candidate is extensively interviewed, their quality of grooming and vocalization skills evaluated, and their spirit of generosity is considered. Cats are required to be sober from nip for at least 3 hours before the judging begins. In the end two cats were moved on to the second round.

Theo really worked it hard to once again be this year's Christmas Kitty. Things were looking favorable for him until the judges witnessed his less than generous spirit toward the other finalist.

Congratulations to Oliver!!!! 

Oliver - 2018 Christmas Kitty

Theo - Christmas Kitty Runner-up

🎄Merry Christmas!!🎄

Sunday, December 23, 2018

beauty abounds

It's Christmas time and this year we are experiencing something different than previous years. This year Oliver and Pierre are getting to enjoy the holiday season as full fledged inside cats!!

Pierre (window) and Oliver (couch)
Earlier today, Pierre was parked in the middle of the living room, soaking up the sun! He's slowly losing his feral ways. Maybe in another year or two we'll be able to pet his soft furs! He seems less fearful now than Rose.

Sunday naps with Mr. Oliver - what could be better?!

A big thank you to Connie (Tails from the Foster Kittens) for helping me find a local source of kitty grass! Thanks to her, Rose now has joy again in her life.  Thank you everyone who shared about easy ways of growing it, when we move into a house with more space, I plan to embark on growing it.

I had a weird moment recently, when I remembered that I actually like the winter season! Here in New England, it's quite beautiful. I had forgotten how delightful the season can be after spending 18 years in the perpetually damp-Seattle area. I'm loving the dry cold here! The snow is quite beautiful - makes it feel like Christmas! 

I had the privilege of sitting in on a local non-profit's board meeting last Friday, which tool place in a lovely old Vermont home. We sat around the kitchen table, soaking in the heat from the wood stove. The window featured the view of snow covered fields and this stunningly gorgeous barn.
Vermont winter beauty
In other news, we got word on Friday that we are officially pre-approved for a mortgage! That felt like a huge step that needed to happen before we could find our new place. Now, to find that new place. It needs to have a lovely enclosed porch for Theo, a warm stove for Rose, lots of sunny windows for all the cats, and lovely steam radiator heating so we can all be toasty.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday update

Good news to report on Marvin. The vet was able to get the blood sample, and the results show that his heart seems to be in good shape. Initially, she thought his heart was thickening due to the kidney failure and thus creating hypertension, but the results don't support that theory. Now, she's thinking pancreatitis. And even better news, he has responded well to the blood pressure and heart rate medications. Today the vet said his blood pressure and heart rate are back to normal - yah!!! That news makes me very happy. I'm amazed that he's allowing us to put the meds in his food, in the past that would be reason enough for a days long hunger strike.

Meanwhile Marvin's personality is coming out again. He's been super-cuddly lately, which is a welcome relief after being not interested in attention for a week or two. He's also back to soaking up as much as sun as he can get on his furs. He loves having heated window shelf! Heat on both sides!

Theo's fort fail!

Pierre still loves cuddles with papa!

Last weekend we drove over to Weston, Vermont to take in their Christmas festival. They had gotten 18 inches of snow earlier in the week, so it was beautifully picturesque! I forgot how much I actually like cold, snowy, New England winter! I love the transition from cold to warm.
Weston Vermont Christmas Festival

I finally found some wheat grass for Rose! I've not been able to find it anywhere here in New Hampshire/Vermont. It was easy to find in Seattle, but apparently it's not a thing here. Petsmart recently came to town and I was there on Black Friday stocking up on litter and I saw it. I grabbed it, thinking of Rose's delight. It was only after I bought it I realized it was $7.99!! and for a tiny square of it, not even the large tray! Yikes.

Rose did enjoy it! 

Theo and Nahum have been super-cuddly lately - the best treatment for depression.
Theo cuddles
Amazing how having a purring 18 pound fluffy cat on one's chest can be quite therapeutic.

 Marvin and Pierre sharing window perch.       Nov 22, 2018

Oliver doing his part to make sure Marvin's heating pad heat
is not wasted while Marv's is away at the vet. 
I hope your weekend is filled with purrs, love, and peace.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Marvin battles on

I've been absent for a time. Depression has once again been having a way with me, which makes many things more difficult.

On the kitty front, it's been a good season, although Marvin is back in a space of once again fighting for his life. He was seeming off last week, so we took him to the vet. We learned he has hypertension, most likely as a complication from the kidney failure. The vet wanted to do blood work but was unable to get a sample because Marvin was so cranky and resistant. He's so little that using a lot of force to restrain him could easily injure him and his little heart is so fast right now, they had concerns of stressing him too much into heart attack. He's showing signs of retinal-detachment, so he's on his way blind if we can't quickly get his blood pressure reduced.

I'm taking him back to the vet today, where they will try a pain medication with sedative effects and then try to get the sample. Once we know more of what's going on we can see options. It's hard seeing him so uncomfortable.

enjoying lap cuddles, never knowing when it might be the last
The people at the vet's office love him, which is such a gift. They really enjoy his strong personality. One of the vet techs fell in love with him but then later moved away to Wyoming. She has followed his progress from afar and even sent Marvin a Christmas postcard!

I like our vet and the people there, but I'm really struggling with the rural vet scene. Before we moved out of the city, we lived next door to a 24-vet that had everything in house. Now, trying to adjust to a vet that is 8-5 and has just the basic diagnostic offerings has been tough. Even sending lab work out here takes forever, which is tough, when I'm used to having the results the next day. Having had such a high level of vet care as our standard, suddenly working with what we have available here feels barbaric. I'm grieving the loss of the amazing gift we had.

Marvin soaking up the sun this morning

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

spooky pleasure

Halloween is one of those nights that used to cause a lot of stress. All those people roaming around at night and a horrible time to be a black outside cat. Unsafe. Every year I would try to round up Oliver and his family and keep them safe and sound on the back porch, but sometimes they refused and I would stress, stress, stress!

Tonight, Oliver and Pierre spend their first Halloween as inside only cats!!!!!! Yah!!!! All the cats celebrated with special yummy dinners!

Oliver enjoying his heated bed!
Pierre enjoying his heated window perch!
With all the challenge and emotional stress the move to New England has brought, I sometimes question our decision to move. I long for the settled home-life we once had. Did we make the right choice? Maybe it was a mistake?  And then I look at Oliver and Pierre being perfect inside kitty citizens, safe and well behaved, and I think it was worth it for that alone.

Happy Spooky Halloween! Purrs to all the outside kitties this night - stay safe and out of sight.

Friday, September 28, 2018

all is well

Time has been flying and I'm overdue for a post!

Marvin has been doing fantastic!! He's gained back all of the weight he had lost and he's better than ever. He's become quite the cuddle-monster! He's much more engaging now and seems to be enjoying his new pain-free life.

He's even being more generous with his purr. He has a very quiet purr, you really have to listen to notice it and he's typically not been one to use it much, but lately, he's all about the purr!

I'm so thrilled he's doing so well!

This is the view from Mt. Tom, in Woodstock, Vermont. We hiked up there last weekend, it was lovely. I love how pretty Vermont is. Mt. Tom has a long history as a sustainable forest.

Old horse hitching post at the summit of Mt. Tom!

A few weeks ago I traveled to Tennessee for work as I've been doing.

Very beautiful sunsets in Tennessee

Oliver is still every bit the dream. Every day I see him, happy and cozy inside, my heart bursts with gratitude. Dreams do come true.

Pierre gets bolder and bolder! Here he is choosing to share space with me! 

Mr. Fluffy is getting more affectionate and cuddly by the day! I'm a firm believer that one can never have too many cuddle-kitties, especially fluffy ones!

Dreamy comfy Oliver

Pierre enjoying the heated window perch

Rose still firmly believes humans are evil. 
After watching the news this week, I'm starting to think she's right.

Theo's been enjoying a lot of time under blanket forts. If I forget to build him one, he squirms his way under blankets and makes his own. Like Nahum, he continues to practice his affectionate skills.

This weekend is the Tunbridge Wool and Sheep Festival! We plan to go and take in some more fun! Fall is such a lovely time to be back in New England!! Fresh apples, apple cider, cider donuts, and soon stunning foliage! 

Have a lovely cat-filled weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2018

gift bag

Did a little shopping today. Got me some new sox! And got Nahum a little something too.

It's purrfect Nahum size!

Last time we had one of these bags kicking around, Pierre played with it and somehow got his head stuck in the handle part. There he was running around the apartment with a big old paper bag chasing him - he was panicked! Eventually he ripped the handle off the bag, so the bag stopped chasing him and then he just had a handle necklace for awhile! And of course being semi-feral, it's not like he was going to let a human get near enough to rescue him. 

Meanwhile Marvin continues to rally. He keeps eating more and more each day! And he acts like Marvin! That last dip in his health was scary. He's still getting daily fluids to give his kidneys the best chance. 

Marvin, enjoying morning sunshine (with food on his nose!)