31 August, 2015

Chucky Two-Butt

The vet tech wrapped Chuck in a blanket

About our vet visit on Saturday:
Chuck's blood pressure was excellent, and the other item's all came in normal.  That's good!  He's been on his heart meds for a solid three weeks, and she likes how he is doing.  Told me to watch for any signs that he is in distress, due to his heart not acting right.  Chuck lost four ounces of weight, and we need to keep diligent about keeping weight on him.  He begs for food often, and I have been ignoring that, but I will slip him some extra from now on.  The vet and I discussed food choices, and we both think what he's eating now is fine.  If needed, there are some limited ingredient prescription foods we can try.

They shaved a spot on Chuck's tail this time, and when he walks around the house, with his black tail in the air, it's almost like he's got two...um, er...you know...butts.  I'll reserve that photo from publication; I'm sure you understand.  The Hubby started calling him "Chucky Two-Butts", and it just rolls off the tongue.

Feeling sad now, since I had to ask for her prognosis, which is not as good as I had hoped.  Chuck's heart will never get better.  The vet said that his heart is technically in failure right now, and at best she has another patient like Chuck who has lasted 10 months so far.  Therefore, his arthritis, his kidneys, or his intestinal problems are not the big issues anymore.  My sweet mancat, who steals my socks and hollers for The Hubby to pet him with his just-did-the-dishes warmed and wet hands, is on borrowed time.  I spend time ignoring this issue, and then sometimes it hits me like a wave of ocean water.  I don't want to leave the house, thinking that I need to spend every minute I can with our boy. Then...I have to get away to keep from turning inside out.

29 August, 2015

Happy Gotcha Day, Angel and Chuck!

As kittens, in 2004
Angel, today
Chucky, today

In 2004, The Hubby and I drove to pick up kittens.  We knew that my brother's co-worker's cat had a litter of four, and that we could pick two for ourselves, without an adoption fee.  All the equipment that we brought with us in that old Toyota Camry, was a cardboard box.  There were two all-black boys, and two 'cow-colored' girls.  We took one of each, and I sat in the back seat with the two kittens in the box on my lap while The Hubby drove home.  We even got lost, because he was too excited about the kittens to remember where to turn, and I was too excited to be paying attention.  Angel crawled from the box up the back of the driver's seat, and managed to get herself perched on his shoulder.  I held Chucky, noticing that even in his dark fur, there were crawly things.  Yes, they had fleas (gobs of fleas) and tapeworms too.  We bathed them in flea shampoo, and made an appointment for the veterinarian.  We had no idea what we were doing.  

Now, 11 years later, they are such a huge part of our lives, and have sent me on a new journey; helping cats, especially ferals.  I constantly read books, read articles, search the internet (and ask a bazillion questions from the vet!), to try to do the right thing for our four-footed, fur-covered friends.  

Happy Gotcha Day, Angel and Chuck!  

26 August, 2015

Friendly Cat!

While making my usual evening walk around the 'hood, this adorable kitty decided to spend some time with me!  Is she not the cutest?  I quite fell in love!

25 August, 2015

Shark Hat

The Island Cats won a hand-made shark hat from 15 And Meowing, and guess what!  The Island Cats Mom loaned the hat to me!

Angel had no problem wearing the hat, and she rocked it, imho!  I could have left it on her all day.
Adorable Angel, as a fierce shark
You can see the fin better here
Chuck was just like Wally, one of The Island Cats.  I was lucky to get outta there with all of my fingers intact!  Note the hat is on backward...

Oops!  Best we could do with Chuck was get the hat on quickly,
with no regard to front or back
He gave me his back of disdain, so I quickly
removed the hat...but the blue looked fabulous on him!
Patty wouldn't even allow me enough time to shoot a good photo, and he got out of arms reach in a split second.
Patty O'Malley wasn't having any of it!
This is his 'don't-try-that-hat-stuff-on-me-again' look

I wasn't going to try with Sweetie, but she watched Patty's embarrassing moments.  Probably is why he fought so hard; maybe he would have played along if there were no bystanders...ya know, keepin' his street cred...

24 August, 2015

Cat Purse

Angel models with my new purse
Scored a brand new Laurel Burch purse at the Paws For The Cause Feral Cat Rescue fund-raising garage sale on Saturday.  Pretty cool!  We had lots of buyers, and I heard we collected some good $$ for helping kitties.  Everything on sale was donated!

Thanks to all the folks that stopped by!  Especially the mom and her daughter who purchased the cat creamer; hope your next adopted kitty comes from Paws For The Cause!

20 August, 2015

Saved From The Skunks: A Reenactment

Last night, I sat in my usual wooden chair to enjoy the backyard.  I closed my eyes, and breathed deeply.  I could feel Patty O'Malley nearby, and he was acting strangely.  I peeked out, and Patty was standing between me...and the skunk that was hiding in the hostas in front of me!
Recreation of skunk looking out of hostas at me

Imagine me sitting in that chair!
I carefully got up and walked to the deck.  While I stood there, I noticed another skunk in the lily-of-the-valley leaves behind my chair!
Recreation of skunk hiding in the leaves
behind the tree
After deciding that it was high time I was inside, I looked down the other side of the yard, and there was a THIRD skunk in the plants there too!

Recreation of 3rd skunk beside the driveway
Once I'd thanked Patty profusely for saving me from an awful, smelly fate of coming face-to-face with a family of skunks, I waited until they were all on one side of the yard, and I beat it out of there on the other side.


The Villains

All skunks portrayed by weird inflatable Sea Monster,
purchased in Pittsburgh many years ago
He's kinda cute!
(My sister is gonna kill me because I forgot this beastie's name!)
The Hero
Patty O'Malley, played by himself
P.S. And what nice thing did I do for Patty?  I pinned him down and put a dose of die-flea-die on the back of his noggin!  He been scratching himself so hard, that he has sores around his neck and head.  Don't worry; I gave him lots of lubs and smooches in gratitude for saving me!

18 August, 2015

Black Cats

Chucky, doing the double dangle

Sweetie at the food station
Yesterday was Black Cat Appreciation Day, so today I want to show off my two ebony-colored cat friends. Chuck has been a great kitty, taking his twice-daily meds like a trooper and making sure his humans go to bed on time every night.  Little Miss Sweetie is a lover; she and I have long petting sessions almost every day.  She has a quiet meow that just melts my heart.

14 August, 2015

Same Squirrel?

Shot this video yesterday, when a pretty but cheeky squirrel tried to convince me to share some of my lunch.  Is this the same squirrel that eyed me through my car windshield in March?

Hmm...hard to tell.  Same park, so could be the same squirrel.  Thoughts?

10 August, 2015

While driving down the road...

On roadside, Gratiot Avenue in Clinton Township, MI

Yesterday, as I drove south on Gratiot Avenue near my home in Metro Detroit, I spied this white thing tossed on the side of the road.  As I went past at 50 mph (the legal speed limit!), I saw what it was.  A Pet Carrier.  My heart jumped into my mouth, and I turned around just as quickly as I possibly could.  

When I pulled over on the gravel, I broke out in a sweat.  Did someone toss out a puppy, or a bunch of kittens?  Can I even handle that?  No sounds came from the carrier, and even that wasn't a good sign.  I screwed up my courage, and bent down.  

It was empty!  Looks like someone may have purchased it from a garage sale; there is at $10 sticker on the top.  Did it blow off the back of someone's pick-up truck?  I dunno; it's clean and I stuffed it into my car trunk.  

Maybe I'll keep it in the trunk, because one never knows when you unexpectedly have a critter and no where to hold it!  Or, I'll donate it to an upcoming garage sale, to raise funds for Paws For The Cause Feral Cat Rescue.  I have already lined up some cat books and other items to donate, plus some volunteer time.


08 August, 2015

Laundry List

The veterinarian says:

1) The left side of Chuck's heart is enlarged, and he has thickening heart muscle,
2) Possible bladder infection: waiting for culture results,
3) One kidney (cannot remember which side) has two parts, which isn't normal but it appears to be functioning okay right now; to be monitored,
4) No sign of Irritable Bowel Disease; no thickening of intestine walls.

Therefore, Chuck is now on four medicines: blood thinner, a diuretic to pull water away from his heart, and something else...I really cannot remember!  The fourth is the anti-inflammatory for his intestines, which has been working for the past few weeks.  Hopefully, we can drop that last medicine by working on different foods.

HOWEVER, the vet recommended some stupid prescription-only food, that we all know is crap.  I've looked over the ingredients, and the venison-and-green-pea canned stuff we feed Angel and Chuck has better stuff than the prescription, so I was a bit dismayed by that.  I think I'll return the six cans they sold me, and work this angle on my own.

Before ultrasounds
After ultrasounds
Yay, back home!
Belly shaved!
Chuck is behaving normally;  Angel is hissing at Chuck.  The two hour visit at the vet this morning wore me out a bit...well, a lot, so I'm going to post this then relax by reading a book.  I am sure I'll learn a lot more about Chuck's conditions in the coming weeks, and we'll monitor and adjust and do what we can to keep him in the best possible health.  Chuck did not sing the song of his people on both car rides, there and back...he HOLLERED instead!  It was pouring rain, and the road in front of the vet's office is torn to pieces for construction.  But we made it; I'm glad we did, and we will all look to the future.

07 August, 2015

New Cat In The Hood

Ahem, don't mind the dirty window...

Looks like the neighbor's are having some plumbing work done, with the need to dig up the water and/or sewer lines in the front yard.  I was too embarrassed to stand in our front yard to snap photos of the machine at work, so I snapped while looking out the window.  But I am not too embarrassed to post it here!

The hubby advised me to get used to this; we will be getting the same work done soon.  Poor Angel and Chuck; they both hit their hidey holes when this 'CAT' monster started making noise; no doubt if it's happening in our yard, they will tuck themselves somewhere so we cannot find them!

04 August, 2015

My friend Hobo

Almost one year ago, I met up again with my first backyard feral, Hobo (read post here).

I love Hobo, and have missed him since he decamped from our feeding station about the same time Patty O'Malley appeared.  Yesterday, I re-discovered him at the same address as last year, so these folks are obviously feeding the cat, at the minimum.  I could not tell if there was a shelter for him.

There was no one around, so I gave Hobo a bit of kibble that I'd stashed in my pocket.  I will try to communicate with the people at this house, just to understand how they are caring for Hobo.  If they need a shelter, I'll build one!  The hubby and I are getting pretty good at building them, and I've got plenty of silver-wrapped insulation (for duct work) to use.

Hobo was not overly friendly with me yesterday, but he always stayed at arms length.  Yet Hobo blinked at me, which I interpreted as 'Hello, nice to see you again'!  What a wonderful way to end my evening walk around the 'hood.

I am happy to find Hobo again!

02 August, 2015

Natural Bleach: Sunshine

Today was 'wash the litter pans' day, and I took advantage of the hot sunshine by laying the scrubbed and cleaned pans in the driveway.  By the time I picked them up again, the sun had baked the black plastic, making them HOT to the touch, and naturally germ-free!

However, since I promised a long time ago to NEVER show photos of litter pans; I mean, really...

I'll just post a few images snapped of interesting cat and nature stuff...

Pile of kittens at
Paws For The Cause adoption event
They are adorable!

Angel, sniffing the camera

Chuck, apparently not appreciating
having his photo taken

Milk Weeds growing in our garden;
I want to attract any Monarch butterflies in the area!
I saw one, but it flittered away...

Patty, snoopervising the litter pan cleaning today

Huge storms are roaring across Michigan right now; I'm turning off the computer NOW!