Friday, August 28, 2015

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day - Aug 28

On our first, hopefully, annual Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day we want to honor  those beloved animals who came into our lives, changed them and left indelible marks on our souls for however short or long they were with us.  Thank you to Deb Barnes of Zee and Zoey blog fame, for hosting this special day.

I have put writing this post off until the last minute not knowing where to start.  I have lost so many cats in the past few years with more to go as they age.  This, to me, is the only drawback of rescuing animals. But with each heartache comes a special gift or lesson that each animal has for us

I had one dog Bunny, a cocker/poodle/terrier mix, when I was a teenager who died at age 11 of cancer.  She was extremely intelligent, funny and energetic.  She taught herself to alert me of any new sounds in the house if I was home alone since I was hearing impaired.  She left me her gift of exuberant joy.

My first cat didn't come into my life until Chica, who found me in Florida in 1991.  Maybe because she was my first, she was my heart and soul cat.  Yoko join us two years later and then in 1998 we moved to the North Carolina mountains and my work with feral cats began.

I worked with a local vet to trap, neuter and release the ferals living in a colony in the woods behind our farmhouse.  So many were not even named, their lives with us were so brief, as it often is with ferals. Bob and Leroy just vanished on different days when they were both about six months old.  I have to think that some wild animal got them.  The ones that survived and thrived became a part of our lives and as they aged we took them into our home. 

Momma Kitty was the first to leave us in 2003 on my birthday.  She had been ill during a really hard winter but had eluded my attempts to catch her.  When I did we took her to the vet and he said she was just days away from dying.  He body was filled with tumors.  We let her go surrounded by our love. She left behind her nurturing peaceful nature.

After two hurricanes blew through our town in early fall 2004, I noticed Big Guy, the head feral mancat was getting weaker as the days went by.  He lay limp on the second level of the feral shelter we built, unable to move.  I rushed him to the vet but there was nothing we could do - his huge benevolent heart was giving out.  He died peacefully in my arms, the only time I was ever able to hold him.  Big Guy taught me compassion and benevolence, watching him rule over his beloved colony.

Two weeks later our most recent addition Clarence, a regal stray who wandered into our yard, not part of the colony, died in his sleep under the bedroom chair with a faint glimmer of a smile on his face.  He lived with us just 18 months and had been ill for the last six.  At least he knew our love  for a short time. He showed us how to live with dignity no matter what our circumstances.

Nick, one of the few ferals still outside at this point, became ill so we took him inside and nursed him.  He had lymphoma and  left us in 2006. Nick's gift to us was his eternal goofiness and love of play. Mannie followed him a few months into 2007 after a vet badly handled a urinary blockage.  He was only two years old.  This was getting harder to lose so many but we did have a few years of health and longevity. 

My main man Joey left us for the Bridge in 2012 suffering from cancer.  He was the one cat welcome committee to all newcomers. Everything was a wonderful fun thing to him. He left us his zest for life.

Then we come to the hardest loss - my dear Chica who lived to be 22 years old.  I didn't want her to leave and I guess she didn't want to either.  She passed from heart issues on my birthday in March of 2013.  She was a part of me like no other cat could ever be.  We went through so much together.  Part of me died with her but I know she lives on in my heart.  She taught me to speak up for what I want.  She never lacked for anything - she just took it.  She made me smile.

Yoko was the quiet one and her favorite was my husband. She was our Buddha cat - doing everything very slowly, methodically and focused.  She ate deliberately, savoring and chewing every bite.  She even made biscuits slowly, with her eyes closed in a blissed out state of contentment. We lost her to oral cancer in December of 2013.  Being with her, taught us patience - to sit, and not rush around, to be still and savor each moment.

Lily was another loss that was almost too hard to bear.  She was our mother figure - giving birth to all the white cats before we could trap her.  Even while living in the house with us she was forever caring for us - sitting with us when we were not well, ever on the alert to noises and the goings on of the other cats.  We lost her at age ten to oral cancer in April of 2015.  Her gift was her love and caring.

 This day falls on the day after the month anniversary of Ivy's passing.  She left this world suddenly on July 27, 2015 after throwing a blood clot in her hind leg. It is hard to believe it is four weeks since she was with us last.  I still hear her funny quack and look for her in the TV console, expecting her to be napping on the receiver snug and warm. She was funny, silly and loved to play.  Everything about her was comical.  She left a big hole in our hearts.  Her gift was the laughter and smiles she brought to us all.

We miss you all dear ones and know that you will be there at the Rainbow Bridge to greet us when we arrive.  Until then, we will see you in our dreams.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Purrs for Minnie on a Trying Tuesday

I apologize for not posting much recently.  My heart is not in it.  This has been an extremely  trying year for us - losing my brother in law in Jan to cancer, almost losing Georgie to fatty liver disease, losing Lily in April to cancer and then last month Ivy to thrombosis.  When Minnie refused to eat Monday morning I called the vet immediately.  She has increased her drinking so I was not surprised at the diagnosis of chronic renal disease.  Her numbers are not great but we hope with fluids regularly and added herbs and natural treatments we can help her feel more comfortable and return her appetite.

Our Angel cats Chica, Yoko and Ivy all had this disease for many years but none of them died from it - that is reassuring that we are doing something right.  Please keep dear Minnie in your thoughts and set your purrs on mega power for her to stabilize.  Thanks to you all for your support and kindness.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Updates on Thankful Thursday

Two Spot

It's me, Two Spot hosting today! Mom is still visiting and thanking all of you who left kind comments for her when Ivy left for the Bridge recently.  Ivy left a huge hole in our house and in our hearts.  Your support and words of comfort help so much.

 Sweetpea went to the vet the same day we lost Ivy.  She is tiny but feisty and had to be sedated to get blood and urine for her tests. She had a UTI and is pre diabetic (maybe).  Since blood glucose goes up under stress, the vet wants to check again after her UTI is resolved to see if she is still running high. Or maybe Mom can do that at home.  Sweetpea is back to her normal self so we think this may be a false alarm.  Let's hope so as she is not a good candidate for insulin shots and blood glucose testing!


Meanwhile Albert, our deaf mancat, is off his food and very lethargic.  Not much else and since it is very hot out we have not taken him in to be checked yet. He will go to see the vet Thursday (today).  He needs a senior check up being 11 this year.  Hopefully all will be OK!  Paws crossed everyone!

Georgie  still has a shaved belly and paw form her last hospital visit.

Georgie has been a little off her food and her blood sugar is waffling again.  With all she has been thru her liver is damaged.  Mom decided to try a holistic vet in another county and took Georgie on Monday this week.  Well worth the 40 minute drive.  Georgie got acupuncture and came home with probiotics, digestive enzymes and vitamin B - all to help her liver heal which will in turn help all the other digestive issues - appetite, constipation and diabetes.  Georgie did really well and Mom liked the vet very much. We had a vet back at our old house that was holistic but have not found anyone here.

A pic of the acupuncture needles in Georgie

We have a lot to be thankful for - living in an area with access to great vet care - holistic and conventional, a new approach to helping Georgie with her diabetes,  new donations to our Paypal account that enable us to take the cats to the vet and  all the dear friends who purr, pray and help Mom thru our ups and downs in caring for all of us senior and special needs cats.

Courtesy of

Monday, July 27, 2015

Goodbye for Now Ivy....


Sunday was like any other day.  Ivy crawled up on the bed to wake us up, squawking away as usual.  She ate well and asked for seconds.  Later that morning I went to lay on the bed to read and she sprawled out on my tummy like she always does.  I had my hand on her body and felt her heart beating way too fast.  She seemed agitated and got down off the bed and then I heard her scream.  When I looked down on her, she was dragging her hind leg and trying to walk, screaming.

Within minutes I had her in a carrier and out the door to the vet.  One the ride over her breathing became labored, her mouth open, gasping.  At the emergency vets they put her in oxygen right away but she had thrown a clot - what I suspected.  I knew it was time to let her go.  I was able to spend a little time with her but she was in distress so I had them give her a sedative and then bring her to me for the final dose,  I cradled her in my arms, swaddled in a blue towel with only her head and front paws showing.  I told her how much I loved her, that Lily was waiting for her, and that everything will be OK.  She was struggling to breathe even with the sedative, so I told the vet to let her go.  It was peaceful and she went easily - she just stopped breathing.

Living outside

She lived a long life for a cat with Chronic Renal Failure and FIV.  I feel blessed to have known  Ivy for  all 17 years of her amazing life. (Read her life story here) She spent the first seven living in the feral colony behind our house.  Tiny then as now, she held her own with the others.  So many times I worried about her safety.  She had UTIs and refused to eat the food I put her meds in, never mind let me catch her.  All I could do was send her Reiki healing light from the back bedroom.  She survived all her illness outside and even lived through hurricanes, blizzards and bone chilling winter temperatures.

Newly indoors

She loved to hunt and would drop her prize at the feet of the head feral cat Big Guy.  She was one of the oldest cats in the group.  In 2005 she was the last of this feral colony living outside. I hesitated to bring her in.  She was so wild and untamed, that I felt she would not adjust to life indoors.  I left her out one last summer and then lured her into a dog crate and brought her inside.  She surprised us totally and became  the lap cat of all lap cats.

She had a huge personality for as small as she was at six pounds.  As she lost her hearing in later years she vocalized more - in her duck like quacking, gurgles and chirps.  In her raspy voice she told us when to wake up, when to feed her and if she couldn't find us, she would roam the house squawking until we found her.

Butter on her nose

She loved butter and would come beg for some when I had my breakfast.  She loved to lick it off my finger and usually got it all over her nose too.  Her favorite place to nap was on the TV receiver on the shelf  in the console where it was warm and cozy.  A restless sleeper she would often unplug the TV and we would wonder why we didn't get TV reception.  She was not a toy player but if we left a catnip banana on the floor she would roll on that until she was in ecstasy.

Napping under the TV

At night I read on the bed before I fall asleep.  That was Ivy's time with me.  She would crawl on my tunny and spread her tiny body out to nap.  If she felt a little frisky she would run across the bed and squawk - her signal to play.  I would throw rolled up socks up into the air over her and she would jump to catch them.  She loved to chase ribbons as I pulled them across the bed as well.  She was so quick - still the hunter.

If you can't see this go here.

She is buried next to the others on a shady hillside on our land, wrapped in a pink blanket with a sunflower from our garden and catnip sprinkled over her.  Our lives will be so much quieter now without her.  No one to wake us or to tell us to feed the cats.  She totally charmed us with her antics and voice, making us smile and laugh everyday.  She was our sunshine, our light and I am devastated that it has gone out forever. Sweet dreams dear Ivy.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mancats on Monday

Mr Kitty here today.  We have been having a heat wave since June - most places in the 90s but we have been in the upper 80s instead cuz we are in the mountains.  Still hot.  I like it hot since I come from Massachusetts so I beg to go out on the porch and just bake in the sun. I lay sprawled out like a beached whale soaking up the sun! The humans won't let me stay out there except for early morning and later in the day so I don't overdo it. 

Two Spot is out in the cat house and it is warmer there - it is built into the hillside so is cool in the indoor room and the porch is shaded with lots of fans.  Most days it is only 80 degrees out there.  If anyone looks too hot then the beans wet them down with cold water.  Al likes that!

Only loves the heat and lays out on the screen porch of the cat house in a stupor and he is in his glory!  Of course he doesn't mind getting wiped down with cold water either!

Norm or Normy as the beans call him is a shy guy and keeps to himself unless he is with Snowball who he adores! (I am not sure what THAT is all about.)  He comes out to the porch during the cooler parts of the day.

 Now Woody shares life in the house with me.  Even tho he is a youngster at nine compared to the rest of us 15 plus year olds, he was brought in due to Al bullying him in the cat house.  He lives the life of Reilly now so he is the one who lucked out!

Snowball is the head honcho of the cat house and he knows it.  He and Al go at it a lot since Al thinks he is the head cat.  Al has his own room within a room out there but in the hot weather, the beans have kept Al's room open for anyone to come in and for Al to go where he wants.  So far they have been pretty peaceful.  The heat is enough to keep everyone's minds occupied elsewhere.

And then there is Sam.  He is the only one with a tipped ear.  He looked so much like Georgie and Norm that no one could tell him apart so the beans had the vet tip his ear when he was neutered.  He is the most reclusive one - is never out, always hiding in a box, cabinet or under a chair. He comes out for food - thus this shot!  If the beans can get their hands on him (when he is out eating) he loves petting.  Go figure!

And last but never least is our Al.  He is a charmer with the humans but a bully with the cats.  With his long furs he is minding the heat more than the others and loves to be wetted down - really soaked.  He has been very mellow too lately - maybe as he gets older he is finally chilling out.

Hope you have enjoyed this visit with all our mancats.  Maybe next week we can feature the ladycats.  Hint...hint.  *wink, wink*

P.S. For those of you not on Facebook, Georgie had to spend a day and overnight at the ER vet this weekend due to being severely constipated and blocked.  After several enemas, they got her opened up.  Being diabetic this is more challenging because she was vomiting and not eating.  The humans will now be vigilant in keeping an eye on her input and output -  when she uses the litter box, giving her lots of Miralx and making sure she eats plenty of food.  It is a challenge to monitor her this way with all of us to care for too.

With all of the huge vet bills we have accumulated for Georgie over the past month or so, we will be hosting an auction within the next few weeks (will keep you posted) and also have added a Wish List on Amazon for our essentials like food and medications.  Check it out and please share!



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