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Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

A Sad Goodbye

Ziggy

1994 – 2 February 2010

Yesterday, we lost our gentle giant of a cat, Ziggy. While the day before he had shown some signs of a little improvement – talking more to me and eating more than he had been – by that night it was clear something else was going on. We found him in the morning, in the sunroom, unable to move and yowling in a tone I had never heard come from him. I picked him up and returned him to the chair in the office where he had been battling the pneumonia. How he made it to the sunroom I will never know. We never heard a sound throughout the night indicating his distress. It looked like a stroke.

I placed Zig on the heating pad to warm him back up, but by then he was yowling almost constantly. I also noticed his pupils dilated and the light that had been in his eyes the day before was gone. He was as comfortable as possible and I was there, petting his now unresponsive body, as he slipped from this world into the next. Softly, as he left, I thanked him for sharing his life with me and told him what a good friend he was.

It was in 1995 that Ziggy appeared at our house. My DD had come home from work to find a young cat wandering where we park our cars. He followed her down to the house, begging to come inside by sitting on a garden bench on the deck and staring at us through the sunroom windows. And stare he did. I have never seen a cat with such riveted eyes.

We tried placing him in the barn’s feed room thinking that would satisfy him. At that time we not only had many housecats already, my father was living with us with his two small dogs. We really didn’t have space for another cat. But as many times as I would put Zig in the barn, there he would be, at the sunroom windows, staring in at us. It wasn’t long before my DH asked if we could at least bring him into the basement until we could find out whom he belonged to. OK. Will do. Once inside it became obvious. If no one claimed him, he at the very least claimed us.

I never saw a cat with such a penchant for playing fetch. Zig would drive us nuts each evening by insisting we throw a rabbit-fur mousie for him to retrieve. He would be satisfied for literally hours of this while we wore out. No matter how hard or where we threw his toy, it would be instantly brought back and dropped by our feet to please throw again.

That behavior remained until a couple of years later when Ziggy accidently fell out of the second-floor bathroom window. He seemed fine at the time but years later we would find out that he had in some way hurt his spine. The Mousie Game stopped and he started to lay around much more. We thought it was his getting older and outgrowing the game. It wasn’t until later when an upward curve developed that it became apparent of the now way-past injury. While he didn’t run after mousie any longer, it still didn’t stop him from playing, eating, taking walks on a leash around the farm.

And he was huge! Not only big of frame, but he had gained weight up to 26 lbs. Our vet at the time would comment on his size, tempering the comments with the fact that he was in perfect health, and how the vet should be able to feel his ribs. My response would always be, “Press harder.”

A little over a year ago, Zig started losing weight. It was determined that his thyroid was doing too good a job and he was placed on medication. This winter, though, there was something we just couldn’t put our finger on. Something was different even if all the tests showed he was OK except for the thyroid. Then, about a month ago we had an upper respiratory bug hit some of the cats. Hindsight always being 20/20, now we know it was just too much for Zig’s system. The round of antibiotics just didn’t seem to work. There had also been some internal bleeding due, we believe, to a sinus infection which ruptured and may have also cause the pneumonia. Well, you know the rest…

I will miss my dear friend. My heart feels like part of it was torn out yesterday. I know that, with time, it will heal and the hole replaced with fond memories of my friend.

And I know one thing for certain: As much as the heart hurts at this time of loss, I would do it all over again. My life has been very blessed with good animal friends…like Ziggy.

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A Very Sick Friend

We’d sure appreciate your sending good wishes and thoughts for our dearest cat, Ziggy. When I came in from shoveling snow this morning I noticed something just not right with Zig. He wasn’t himself at all.

He’d been feeling poorly with an ear infection, but this is something else. It appears he may have had a stroke. I’ve given him subcutaneous fluids as well as the low-dose aspirin our vet, Bill, recommended. But it’s obvious he’s not himself. He’s seeking odd places to hide, then will become himself for a bit and sit with me, purring while I brush him.

We are in the midst of one hell-of-a-snowstorm right now. I can’t get out, and neither can the vet. I17 is closed so if I could get out, I can’t get to town. The forecast is for anywhere between three and seven feet of snow between today and Saturday. Not a great time for a kitty to be sick or in need of medical care.

I will try my best to keep him warm and comfortable. He’ll get his meds and all the love we can give him. But that’s about all we can do right now, besides pray that he either get well, or gently slip away while he’s sleeping by the fire.

He’s been a great friend for the past 16 years.

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Shadow Update

Thanks to all of you who were concerned about my BFF (best feline friend). Shadow is slowly getting a bit better. We still don’t know what has caused all the sneezing. It could be allergies or a virus. Luckily, it has not progressed and there has been no temperature or sign of a fever. I have noticed that Shadow has been sleeping more than usual as well as enjoying the warmth of the woodburning stove in the evenings. Can’t say as I blame him for that. Now that the temperatures are in the 20s F at night, those of us who are chronologically challenged here at Oleo Acres are moving a wee bit slower than we do in the summer.

All things considered, I think I’ll take moving slower over hot summer anyday. Move over, cats…that wood fire does feel might good.

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A V-E-T Visit for a Buddy


I thought I would get a quick post in while waiting for Dr. Bill to come to check out Shadow. Yesterday, Shadow spent a good deal of the day either sleeping or sneezing. A bit listless and “gurgle-y”, I decided that having a good once-over by a v-e-t would be a good thing. I just don’t need a respiratory infection spreading through our 7 cat household. Having two sniffling people here is bad enough.
Shadow is indeed just that, my shadow. As a kitten 14 or so years ago, he was delivered to the house next door, only to be abandoned when the renters moved out. No one wanted him, but he and I became great pals – and have remained so since he first came into the house. He didn’t even hold my making him get a “Hoo-Ha-ectomy” against me. A true friend – to give up one’s HooHas so you can be near someone. He’s been glued to my hip ever since.
Shad is our official “Greeter”. Liking most everyone, he loves meeting everyone who comes over, always showing a cheerful nature.
And even not feeling up to snuff today, he’s sitting near me, purring. Little does he know that the Prisoner Transport Unit is about to come out of the basement so I can get him to Bill’s van when he arrives. It’s so windy and cold out today, I don’t dare carry him up to the car area.

…It’s OK, Bud. You’re just going to have to trust me that this will be for your own good. Let’s hope you’ll be on the mend soon.

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It’s been hot here. Even for us way up in the mountains…it’s been hot. So hot that even the cats have taken to summer siestas in the midday heat:

Rascal knows how to really relax…as well as block out the incoming air from the open window. Yes, he really is that big! He’s going to be a huge cat. Right now he and Mooch are 1 year old gangly teenagers who are bottomless pits when it comes to food. Now I know how my mother felt trying to keep up with my 6’4″ brother who never seemed to be filled up.

Mooch lays low in the Crow’s Nest of the cat-tree. Why he gets up high where it’s warmer I’ll never understand. He doesn’t move for hours in the heat, but seems to enjoy himself nonetheless.

Daisy, sound alseep and snoring to boot. She’s obviously exhausted from keeping Mooch and Rascal in line.

And HRH The Princess Europa takes advantage of no one else being in the box to take her nap.

Move over guys…I think it’s time for me to start slowing down during the heat of the day as well. Maybe we should get a Kiddie Pool for some Water Sports? I know Mooch would love it as he’s always playing in the waterbowls anyway!

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This past week has been a week full of worrisome happenings: a kitten we adopted out has gone walk-about causing major concerns for her new owners; I have had tremendous headaches complete with brain scan to see if there was something amiss there (and it did confirm I do, indeed, have an actual brain); and a dear friend is very, very ill in the hospital.
Today, I saw a cat that has been hanging around the farm duck into Hizzoner’s tractor shed. Carefully, I opened the door. I got a very quick glance at the face of the cat, then spied two smaller versions of said cat. Yup. Lightening does indeed seem to strike twice. A mama-cat moved her kittens in.
I only saw the two kittens and the mom, but we just don’t have room for any more cats. And the shelters are turning away animals here due to over-filled capacity. To top it off, we are people who just can’t ignore them. I did put out some food and drink for the mama. This damned conundrum! I will make sure these guys have food and drink available except at night when the kitty-killers (aka coyotes, skunks, racoons…loose dogs) come around.

Yogi Berra said it right…

“It’s Deja Vu all over again!”

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Max

Max
Maybe ’93 to 17 April 2009

We lost our buddy and friend, Max today. He had been in declining health but took an extreme turn for the worse these last ten days. He wasn’t eating much, drinking lots of water, as well as showing signs of pain. It was hard, but we let him go…peacefully.

Max came to our house in the spring of 2001. Years before, he had been abandoned at the farm of a person who worked at the Sheriff’s Dept. with Ralph. She said that was around the early ’90s. In 2001 she was moving from that place into town and since we were good with cats would we take him? It was soon obvious that before he was abandoned, he had been abused.
It took years for Max to start warming up to us. He would hide under beds or blankets to stay safe until evenings when he thought it safe to come out. It was apparent to us that a man had hurt him as he ran from any man in the house, even if that man just wanted to be friends.
After a while, Max started to enjoy lying next to me in bed or in my chair when I watched TV. He was such a sweet soul.
These past few days I had wished that he would drift off to sleep, dreaming of the happiest he’d ever been, then let go of his frail body that was failing his gentle soul.
Rest well, dear Maxi-Cat. I pray that someday our souls will meet again and leap for joy at each other’s sight.

And thank you for being a part of my life, adding to the richness of it with your love and trust. I will miss you.

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