Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day - Aug 17


Today is National Black Cat Appreciation Day - to honor these lovely house panthers and  raise awareness that black cats (and dogs) are the last to get adopted and the first to be euthanized in most shelters across the US.

The reasons are many - they don't photograph well indoors, don't show up well in cages, and have superstitions concerning them dating to medieval ages. We need to tell people how great black cats (and dogs) are!

Black cats have a long history. They were probably the first color variety to arise from the ancestral tabby.  The black mutation  is thought to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean and the cats then spread by Phoenician traders.  Today the highest concentration of black cats are found in Britain, northwest Africa, the Mediterranean, Rome and Florence.

We know how terrific black cats are since we had a whole feral colony of black cats at one time.  Sadly only three are left - Sweetpea, Mamacita and Rosa. It is so silly how people think black cats are bad luck.  We love ours and each one has been so very different in personality and size.  

Sweetpea a few years back

House panther, Sweetpea is our tiny girl at less than five pounds. She is 17 and our only  long haired black cat.  She was the first one we took indoors.  To read her gotcha story go here.  Even as tiny as she is, she is feisty and a wriggler if she does not want to be held.  She loves to play on the bed while I make it up.She prefers quiet toys to chase around the house - yarn balls or catnip toys.  Lately she enjoys napping on the back porch with Mr Kitty in the mornings. (She is responding well to her herbal hyperthyroid and CRF  treatment.)

Mamacita and Rosa

They have slimmed down in the past few years but I called Mamacita and her daughter Rosa my sumo wrestler cats.  Late at night after we have gone to bed, they love to roll on the floor wresting with each other and make loud thumps as they toss each other around. Both are very secretive and come out only if we are quietly watching TV or at feeding times.  They will hide under the bed if anyone else comes to visit.

Mamacita on the porch

Mamacita is 11 and is very shy.  She will approach me or Don to sit next to us on the sofa if she wants cuddles.  If you try to pet her any other place, she will run away or pull out of reach.  She is still chubby and has some issues walking with her front legs.  We are treating that with glucosamine. She keeps to herself, preferring Rosa to the other cats.  

Rosa playing hard to get.

Rosa, age 10,  has become more outgoing than her mom.  She loves to be petted and will meow and turn in circles on the chair for more attention.  Eventually she gets too excited and runs off.  She loves her mom cat and will lay next to her, kneading her tummy like she was still a kitten.  Mamacita still spends a lot of time grooming her and they are very close. The story of how we came to have these two girls is here.

So in honor of this special day, please consider adopting a black cat (or dog) from a shelter. You will be saving a life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Remembering Ivy.....

My last photo of her July 2015

A year ago today  Ivy left this world after having thrown a blood clot.  It is hard to believe so much time has gone by without her.

Lately I have been seeing black and white cats in my peripheral vision while at home.  I am assuming it is the part of or all of the quartet that left us last year - Minnie Ivy, Georgie and Lily.  I just see a shape and color but no details.

Knowing the anniversary of her passing would be coming up, I finally ordered her grave stone from Etsy.  It is smaller than I thought it would be but then so was she. Small but packed full of joie de vivre, a booming voice and abundant energy.

Ivy in our old home

I was just talking about her the other day to a new employee of the pet food store I frequent.  Knowing she is a feral cat caretaker I was explaining how I have a feral cat sanctuary.  She was surprised to hear that they were now all indoor only.  I told her about Ivy, how wild she was outside so much so I could not even touch her. I told her how I left Ivy outside one last summer in 2005  because I was worried she would not adjust to life indoors. Even after living seven years in a feral cat colony she settled right in and loved being a house cat and lap cat.  Ivy was also full of contradictions!

She loved catnip and would roll in it until she was in a stupor

Ivy as the devil cat

She lived a long and amazing life for a feral cat, surviving illness (she was FIV), being shot with a BB gun (the BB was still in her leg),  hurricanes, blizzards and the loss of her fellow ferals as they passed on during her first seven years.  After we took her in, she handled moving to a new home three years later with her usual resilience. Ivy flowed with the ups and downs of life, taking it all in stride. (Read about her life here.)

Ivy loved to nap hanging off things - beds, sofa and this heater.

I spent so much of her first years worrying about her living outdoors.  That worry bonded me to her before I could even hold her.  Once inside she was my shadow - with me everywhere I went , either beside me or on my lap. Ivy trusted me implicitly. She cracked us up daily because she had so many endearing quirks and funny habits - licking butter off my finger at breakfast, napping in the TV console, playing catch with socks on the bed, waking me up in the morning by quacking next to my face, letting me dress her up. Ivy was a unique personality, one of a kind.  We miss her every day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

More on Sweetpea....


For those of you not on Facebook or Instagram..we finally have a diagnosis for Sweetpea from the new holistic vet.  She is in chronic renal failure along with hyperthyroid.  Her liver values were up due to the thyroid meds so we have stopped that and the values have come down to normal.

Sweetpea is not a good candidate for radio active iodine treatment so we are going with Traditional Chinese Medicine and vitamin B. She is eating altho mostly baby food but we have gotten some good suggestions for food that we will try.

She is happy, acting her normal self so I am going with this less invasive route and hope that it will buy her some quality time with us.  At 17 we can't hope for a lot more in years but we want quality of life more than anything.

Thanks for all your kind suggestions, comments and calls.  We appreciate all of you so very much.  Blogging is tough when we have 15 senior cats to care for but I will try to do a post a week at least.  Love you all.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day America!

Mr Kitty here today wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July.  Happy Birthday America!

As you can see some of us were subjected to Mom Cheri's attempt of dressing us up for the holiday!  Pretty minimal is what we allow! (Altho I do look like a super hero with a cape in mine. Don't I?)

I don't look too happy in this one.

It is a low key holiday for us with Sweetpea being sick this week and all.  She is feeling much better and has been eating on her own.  Baby food is her preference but Mom Cheri sneaks in good stuff too and vitamins! At least she is eating.

I want to ask a special favor of all of you.  My original  human parents in Massachusetts will be going through some serious surgery first thing on Tues morning July 5.  My mom is giving her kidney to my dad who has been on dialysis for over a year.  He had a liver transplant last year which is why I can't live with them anymore.  Both of them will be in the hospital for this week. Mom will come home over the weekend and Dad will be able to come home the week after. 

Mom Cheri is plenty worried about the both of them since she has known them for like, forever.  Keep them in your thoughts, purrs, prayers, healing vibes - whatever you do, send good energy to them this week for a purrfect outcome. I will keep you posted on them.

Thank you for being such great friends.  I never had online friends before and this is way cool!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sweetpea Update

UPDATE Fri July 1 - We got a second opinion on Sweetpea and I am so glad we did.

Dr Ann is a bit of a drive but well worth it.  We took a half hour just to go over all the tests and paperwork form the other vet - trying to make sense of it all.  Dr Ann had me leave Sweetpea with her for the rest of the day so she could run a few more tests of her own.

Turns out Sweetpea is NOT diabetic but she does have elevated liver values and a mild UTI.. Sweetpea is on Clavamox for the UTI.  The thyroid meds or the not eating could cause the high liver numbers so for the next week we will make sure Sweetpea eats (she ate on her own tonight) and NOT give the thyroid meds.  We have appetite stimulants to give Sweetpea and Dr Ann did some acupuncture to stimulate her appetite too and to tone the liver.

We will take Sweetpea back to Dr Ann next week to get more blood work and see if the numbers are different.  At this point with all the crazy stuff going on from the old vet, I am sure she must wonder if she is hyperthyroid after all.

The old vet was one I had been seeing for years for many of the other cats and did not have any problems except some issues with Georgie.  At this point, I am not going back there for sure.  Dr Ann is worth the drive and I will be going to her from now on!  I like her blend of holistic and conventional vet care. Thanks for all the comments, suggestions and support.  I have been a wreck this week!



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