Friday, June 23, 2017

Friendly Fill-ins Blog Hop: with Connor

Happy Friday, everyone! We are joining the Friendly Fill-ins Blog Hop hosted by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader.

We enjoy participating in this blog hop because the fill-ins always make us think, and we enjoy learning more about our fellow bloggers. 

This week, Connor is helping with the answers.


1. A recurring dream I have is _____________________.

2. Turn ______________ into ________________________.

3. ______________ is driving me crazy!

4. Lately, I have been ________________.





1. A recurring dream I have is one where I have enrolled in college courses, and classes have started. But I can’t find my class schedule or get to class. (Connor: In a recurring dream I have, I’m riding on a skateboard down the street with my squirrel friends.)

2. Turn worries about criticism into opportunities to improve in something. (Connor: Turn a box into a hide-out place so you can jump out and scare everyone!)

3. My hair is driving me crazy! I got it cut short in February, and I haven’t been happy with it. I am growing it out, and this in-between state is driving me crazy. (Connor: My fur is driving me crazy! It is growing back from my surgery, but this in-between state is driving me crazy.)

4. Lately, I have been having a hard time sleeping. I have been taking some allergy medicine, and it seems to make me restless. (Connor: Lately, I have been having a hard time keeping to my nighttime snooping schedule. Mama gets up and down, up and down, all night.)


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pictures from Home

I love being at home with my cats. During the day, they sleep a lot, but they still find time to follow me around or sit nearby. They let me join them at the window to watch birds and squirrels. I’m around to hug them and make over them.

I’m not yet at a place in my life where I can be a stay-at-home cat mom. Larry is retired. I’m glad he’s home a lot so he can keep an eye on the kitties. But sometimes I get jealous.

Like the day I was at work, and I received a text from Larry with this picture.






Natasha was sitting on his nap, and he wanted to share. He loves the cats as much as I do and loves when they hang out with him. 

I was happy that Larry was happy, happy that Natasha was happy. But I couldn’t help feeling a little sad that I wasn’t at home with them.

At least when I get home from work, the kitties usually look glad to see me and tell me about their day. And at least I get weekends off! 

Do you miss your pets when you’re not home?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy Father’s Day to our Papa

Abbey, Natasha, and Connor here. We want to wish our Dad, who we call Papa, an early Happy Father’s Day!









Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month


Abbey



Natasha



Connor



June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, a good time to remind ourselves and others why adopting from a shelter is so important.

Recently, one family surrendered 30 cats to the animal shelter in my county. Apparently, the people had been trying to feed stray cats, but had not taken the crucial step of having the cats spayed and neutered. So the 30 cats included kittens.

Also in the shelter, among other cats, was a 16-year-old gray girl who had been surrendered by her owner.

The young, the old, the in between: you can find them all at your local shelter. And they all need homes. They all need love.

Our shelter is fortunate to now have two cages at the local PetSmart to showcase our cats, and that has helped increase cat adoptions. From talking with the volunteers who work most closely with the cats, they think part of the reason is because people don’t want to have to visit the “animal shelter” or say they adopted from the “animal shelter.” And frankly, the shelter is not a pleasant place to visit.

Our county has a long way to go to making our animal shelter more pleasant to potential adopters and, most importantly, larger, with more room for the animals. Dogs and cats are euthanized because of no room. That is tragic.

Why don't we have a better shelter? There aren't enough people willing to pay the money needed to do it. There isn't a desire from the governing body of the county, the board of supervisors, to do anything. I want to scream at my fellow county residents and board of supervisors: Why are you letting this happen?

I manage the website for the volunteer group, Friends of Campbell County Animal Control (FOAC) that works closely with animal control officers to get as many animals adopted as possible. I make donations of food and funds. But I’m not on the front line like many of the volunteers, having to make life and death decisions, trying with all their hearts to promote animals to would-be adopters. 

No animal should die because someone decided they didn’t want him or her, because there’s no room for her, because she’s old, because he’s not perfect. Because he or she is in a shelter.

If you want to adopt a cat, please go to your local shelter. Even if your local shelter is No-Kill, continue to support them and adopt. The No-Kill shelter in a nearby city helps our county by taking some of our animals. When you free up spaces in a No-Kill shelter, you are still helping.

Of the seven cats Larry and I have had the privilege to have, four were adopted from our county’s shelter, one was given to Larry by a neighbor who was moving, one was adopted from a neighbor whose cat had kittens, and one was a stray that we adopted. Abbey, Natasha, and Connor all were adopted from the county shelter.

Our cats have been nothing less than a joy to us. We don’t care if they were “owned” before. We don’t care if they don’t have papers to show how “pure” they are. We accept the love they give us, and we give them love.

For information about what you can do to support Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, see the ASPCA website and the PetFinder website.

I am probably preaching to the choir with this post. But please spread the word to family and friends who might not know: adopting a shelter cat is one of the best choices you will ever make.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Going Inside Cat TV

My kitties love Cat TV. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, a chipmunk—they provide great entertainment in a variety of shows and programs.

Last weekend, I decided to take my camera inside Cat TV. I quickly learned that the birds and squirrels and rabbits and chipmunk definitely sense when a human is intruding. I also learned that the squirrels were pretty quick to ignore my presence and return to the food.

This is our backyard. 





After I made my entrance onto the set of Cat TV, the squirrels disappeared, then climbed up and down and around the trees.





Then one decided eating was more important than worrying about that human with the clicky box. 





I couldn’t catch a photo of any wildlife in the side yard. But I sensed I was being watched by critters waiting for me to go inside.





Someone else was watching me. 




Connor said I ruined Cat TV.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A scare, but all is okay

Connor waiting to be seen by the vet.


The scare: Yesterday morning, after running around and wrestling with Abbey, Connor started limping badly and holding up his leg where he had hip surgery.

It wasn’t long before he was walking normally again. But I still called the vet’s office, and they had us bring in Connor this morning.

Verdict: The vet, who is the surgeon is operated on Connor almost eight weeks ago, said it won’t be unusual for him to strain a muscle while he’s healing. The healing process can take up to a year, he said. Some muscles which didn’t have to do much work are not being asked to do more. He thinks that is what happened yesterday.

He watched Connor walk around the exam room, and he examined Connor and rotated his leg joint. He said Connor is doing great, as well as he has seen eight weeks after surgery. He doesn’t feel any rough edges of bone on bone. 

The best thing for Connor if he strains a muscle is to rest. And ironically, yesterday he spent some time of his own choosing in the crate on his bed where he spent six weeks. 

There is nothing that can move out of place or pop out, and his muscles will become stronger the more he uses them.

So even though Larry and I panicked (or maybe it was more of me who panicked) yesterday, Connor is fine. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: with Abbey

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Abbey is helping me.

We would like to express our condolences to Ellen and family of 15 and Meowing for the loss of their Snowball. We are so sorry. 


1. A law I would like to see passed is _________________.

2. My favorite card game is ____________________.

3. With Summer unofficially here, __________________.

4. A favorite Summer memory is _______________.





1. A law I would like to see passed is one that would make abuse of animals a more serious crime. (Abbey: I want the same thing Mama wants.)

2. My favorite card game is Uno, if that is considered a card game. It has been years since I’ve played any card game. (Abbey: My favorite card game is Go Fish!)

3. With Summer unofficially here, I am already tired of the heat. (Abbey: With Summer unofficially here, I am liking the birdies that come visit us.)

4. A favorite Summer memory is riding my bike up and down our long driveway on the farm. (Abbey: A favorite Summer memory is watching birdies and squirrels and then taking a long nap, every day.)




Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day

To our friends in the United States, we wish you a happy Memorial Day. And for all of you, we wish for peace.

I will be taking a few days of vacation (a staycation) next week, so we won’t be here on Tuesday. But we’ll be back next Friday.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Six weeks



Six weeks ago today, Connor broke his hip, which I chronicled here. He had the surgery for the femoral capital physeal fracture the next day, and he has been recovering ever since.

Any time Connor was out of the crate over the last six weeks, we have had to monitor him closely to make sure he didn’t jump, run, or make any explosive movements. 

Gradually, over the last week or so, we’ve been giving him more freedom from the crate and from our constant surveillance. I think he’s glad we’re not following him everywhere in the house.


Every night since he came home on April 13, he has spent the night in the crate. Last night was his last night in the crate. Also, each weekday before I left for work, I would put him back in the crate after breakfast .Today at work, I received the following text from Larry:






We’ll leave the crates in the den for a few more days in case we need to give him a rest or if he needs what he may now see as a safe refuge.

Connor still has healing to do. The vet said he will get stronger over the next six months or so as his muscles holding the femur in place grow stronger. 

But he’s feeling more like his old self. He is again trying to conduct experiments with the picture hanging in the living room. *How much can I make it swing back and forth?*

Thank you all for your prayers and support over the last six weeks. You have helped to make this an easier time for us.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: with Natasha

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Natasha is helping me.


1. I have googled __________________.

2. I have_____________________ on Ebay.

3. I think ___________________.

4. _______________thinks _______________.







1. I have googled every known symptom of illnesses in cats when my cats have been sick. (Natasha: I have googled the very best toys that Mama should buy for us.)

2. I have never bought anything on Ebay. (Natasha: I have seen some things I’d like to buy on Ebay, but I don’t have my own magic plastic buying card.)

3. I think all people and animals are connected. (Natasha: I think humans can learn a lot from cats.)

4. Natasha thinks she should be able to invite the squirrels to lunch. (Natasha: Mama thinks that’s a bad idea.)







Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Stubborn Squirrel: A Story in Pictures

Introduction: The squirrels seemed to be eating more of the bird seed in the bird feeders than seemed fair. So Larry got baffles to put on some of the poles. 

Does this squirrel understand the purpose of a baffle?














Friday, May 12, 2017

Connor Update



It has been four weeks since Connor had the FHO surgery, and he is doing well. He is still in a “controlled” environment: he is in the crate all night (I’m still sleeping in the den with him) and when we can’t monitor him closely. He jumps up on the bench to watch the birds and squirrels and up on armchairs and sofas to snooze. His appetite is good. He wants to run and play with his sisters, which usually involves a chase, but we try to keep that to a minimum. 

But Larry and I were concerned with his walk because we didn’t know how much of a limp was normal. So I made a very amateur video of him walking and emailed it to the surgeon. He responded that the way Connor was walking four weeks after surgery was how he would expect. 

He said that “cats are never normal after this procedure. They don't have a hip joint after all. He will always walk with a bit of a limp and not have quite the range of motion as before. He will have steady improvement over the next 6 months or so as the muscles get stronger to help support the leg. For me, the success of the surgery is more determined by the animals pain/activity level - he seems pretty darn happy in the video! That tells me that the lameness is more "functional" and less painful. 
Overall, he looks like he's right on track for this point post-op.”

So if Connor is feeling good and is happy, then we’re happy.

If you’d like to see the video, you can check it out on YouTube.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What are those kitties looking at?









Bird and Squirrel TV! They are looking at the bird feeders in the back yard. Since the pictures of the feeders were taken, we have added more feeders for the birds and one for the squirrels. 

Those squirrels will be another story. 









Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Birthday, Connor!






Happy 2nd Birthday to Connor Romeo! We are so glad he's part of our family.

Love you forever, sweet boy!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Flynn

We are so sorry to learn that Flynn of Two Devon Cats has made his journey to the Rainbow Bridge. He had a long and good life, but it's never long enough.

He is with his brother Eric now. Bless you boys as you start the next life!

Our prayers and condolences to Flynn's family. 

We love you forever, Flynn.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Getting closer to normal

We are slowly but surely getting closer to normal around here. This is a photo of all three cats hanging out together one evening late last week. It was so good to have them all in the same room.





Connor is still crated when we are not able to watch him closely. But sometimes while he’s out of the crate, he decides to take a nap. Here he is in one of his favorite spots, my reading chair.




And we got a package in the mail yesterday. Ellen of 15 and Meowing sent Connor some of her crocheted toys. They are so cute! I know that he—and the girls, too—will enjoy playing with these. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, Ellen.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Birthday and Gotcha Day, Abbey!




Yesterday was Abbey’s 3rd Birthday and her 2nd Gotcha Day. She is such a blessing to our family, and we are so glad she is part of it.

I haven’t written about Abbey’s health issues lately. She is still having throwing up/regurgitating episodes. Her vet wants to try her on prednisolone for a month and see if that helps. Even though there was only slight inflammation in her small intestine, there was a bit. The medicine has to be compounded, so the vet ordered it through an online pharmacy she uses. We should receive it in the mail early next week. 

It doesn’t seem to make a difference if Abbey eats the D/D food or not. I am worried and frustrated, but I am hoping the medicine will help. If it doesn’t, then the vet will look into other things. 

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Progress

All 3 kitties hung out together on Saturday. The girls watched the outside bird
action from the bench. Connor wished he could join them.


Connor is getting better each day, but he still has a ways to go in the healing process. 

We have celebrated the milestones after surgery: the first time he drank water, the first time he ate, the first time he used the litter box, the first time he pooped. Pet parents will understand our delight in these small signs of healing.

Connor still has to be confined most of the time. We bought a second crate so we could expand his confinement area. He is allowed walks around the house, but Larry or I follow him and try to keep him from jumping or running. It’s not easy keeping a young cat quiet.

I am still sleeping in the den near his crate each night. I want to make sure I hear him if he needs me. Unfortunately, the longest piece of furniture to sleep on is a love seat, shorter than my five feet eight inches. I have sore knees and back. But the little boy in the crate is going through a lot more, and he is worth the soreness.

Thank you all for your kind words and your thoughts and prayers. They mean a lot.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Connor has surgery

It has been a tough week for Connor. He broke his hip and had to have surgery. He’s home now and is doing well, but he still has to go through the healing process.

Connor enjoying late afternoon sunshine at home on Thursday.
You can't see the incision in this picture, but it's about 2 inches long.
 


Tuesday evening at around 6:15, Connor came into the bedroom where I was. It looked like he was dragging his back end, but quickly lay down on the floor. Larry called him so that he got up again, and we could see he was holding up his back left leg. When we tried to pick him up or when we touched his leg, he cried out.

We left for the emergency hospital. It only took us about 40 minutes to get there, but it seemed forever because he was obviously in pain and upset, and there was little I could do to comfort him.

At the hospital, the vet gave him two pain medications right away so he could be examined. Even then, Connor cried out in pain when the vet moved his leg. So they gave him more pain medication.

Once x-rays could be done, the vet told us he had broken his hip. We were horrified, and we couldn’t understand how we could have missed the major traumatic event that must have caused it.

Turns out it was the kind of break that needs no trauma to happen. It was a femoral neck/capital physis fracture. It can happen in cats and dogs. With cats, it mostly occurs in large neutered males.

The surgeon told us the theory is that when neutering occurs in young cats, the drop in testosterone can delay the closure of growth plates, and in some cats, this can result in this type of fracture. If it happens on one side, there is a 25 percent chance of it happening on the other side. (Note: Please don’t take this as a caution against having your cats neutered.)

Connor had a femoral head ostectomy (FHO), where the head and neck of the femur are removed. The bone is held in place by scar tissue and other tissues and muscle. It sounds impossible, but most cats and small dogs can run and jump afterwards, though they may have a limp and may be limited in jumping ability as compared to before the surgery.

Connor came home yesterday and is doing well. We have to try to keep him as quiet as possible for at least two weeks for the incision to heal. But the vet said it’s important that he build up the muscles in that hip. So he is allowed short walks already. 

He doesn’t like being in a crate most of the time, but we are looking for ways to make it more manageable for him. He threw out all of the litter in the small litter box we put in the crate, and sat in the box. So we let him out periodically, and he uses the regular litter boxes. 

Since Connor was diagnosed with a broken hip, it seems like people have come out of the woodwork on Facebook to tell me that they have had pets who had the FHO surgery and did fine. Abbey’s vet, the internal specialist, works in the same clinic as the surgeon and talked with us about it. One of her cats had to have the surgery on both hips. And our regular vet says that it’s a common procedure. 

We are glad that Connor did well with the surgery and is at home. The next couple of weeks especially will be challenging for him, but he is a brave and spunky boy. We believe he will be just fine.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rainbow Memorial Bracelet and Toys

These are not the greatest pictures, but I wanted to share some things that my friend Carolyn is making.

This is a Rainbow Memorial Bracelet that she made. As you can see, it honors our Chase Bird, who went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2015.





Carolyn makes a variety of these bracelets using different kinds of beads and charms. And she makes a variety of other jewelry.

She also makes catnip toys, including nip knots. Here’s our resident nip head Abbey saying hello to one of them.




Carolyn is selling her creations on her Facebook page Buhbee’s Baubles and Catnip Toyz, and soon she will have an Etsy store. 

She often donates items to auctions raising money for pets in need.

To see more of what she makes (with better pictures), visit her page.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Good job, Dad!

Larry brought home a new bird feeder this week and placed it in good view of one of the cats’ favorite windows.

Natasha, who is Chief Supervisor of All Work Done Around the House, watched from the window to make sure her Dad set up the feeder correctly.

She gave her approval.