Archive for the ‘Ziggy’ Category

A Sad Goodbye


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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Happy Halloween…

…from all of us at Sheep Thrills Farm. Pharaoh Ziggy commands it and we must obey!

“Look into my eyes. You are all getting sleepy. Very, very sleepy. What’s that, Mom? Oh, OK. Ahem…You’re getting very sheepy…sheepy…”

“Now can I get out of this hat, Mom?”

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from all of us at Sheep Thrills Farm!!!

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I woke up this morning to rain and high winds, plus it was so dark I thought my DH had left early and the alarm hadn’t gone off. Not so. It was dark due to the weather. By the time I got dressed, had that all-important first coffee in the morning, and headed out to the barn the rain was coming in sideways. I wondered how Skittles and the girls were fairing outside in their loafing shed.

When I got to the barn area, I found the girls to be in the loafing shed quietly chewing their cuds and gazing up at me as if to say, “What’s wrong with you this morning?” Skittles was at his tire, guarding it as if the wind were going to blow it away. With all the rain, the now soft ground gave the post and tire a definite lean. Note to self: Next spring remove said “marvelous toy”, use concrete around the base when properly righted and let concrete cure well before letting him have at it again. I felt of his fleece and noted that the wind had driven the rain very close to his skin. I didn’t want him to chill, so I moved the young sheep to the end area of the barn by the chickens and put Skit and the Girls into the end of the barn we use for lambing jugs. I kept one of the barn shutters open for good ventilation, gave them hay and their grain, and made sure I turned on the camera to watch them. This will give his fleece a chance to dry out a bit before all this wet turns to snow this afternoon. As I write this blog entry, I am watching Skit herding the girls from one end of the pen to the other, stopping to single out Ailee as I believe she may not have settled yet and is coming into season.

Since everyone seems to have settled in for a bit, this gives me a chance to re-stoke the fire in the woodburner and have something warm to drink. I was totally wet by the time I came in. Barn coat, sweatshirt, and t-shirt all damp, I’ve set up a drying rack by the fire to dry everything out before I go out again to move sheep-people around again. By this afternoon Skit and his harem will be dry enough to weather the snow. Shetland sheep are known for their hardiness and ability to withstand rough climate conditions. Their fleece is thick and warm. Many a time I have seen them standing out in a snowstorm with six inches of snow on their backs. They do much better than we humans under similar conditions. We must rely on GoreTex and Thinsulate. Maybe all we really need is a good wool coat. 🙂
But it’s the driving wind with rain that can stress a sheep. Wool will still insulate when it’s wet, but why stress the animal when I can let them get in to dry a bit while we wait for the 40 mph winds to die down? Of course, most other rams are not obsessed with tire-toys. They’d be in the dry, wind free loafing shed with the others.

Ziggy’s got the best idea…a nice warm fire, some meditation, and a snack every now and then.

Move over, Zig. Let me warm up here by the fire with you. Gee, Zig, did you ever think of getting a job as a pillow?

UPDATE: As of 4:50 pm, MST, we have had to put all sheep in the barn as flooding of our stream has come up to the bottom of the pens near the barn. With the help of my DH, we were able to get “The Chicken Side” ready for sheep. Half of this area is sheep quarters anyway, but we needed to remove some feeders to make room for the larger sheep. DH tried to get the camera working on that end, but to no avail. Something best suited for a nice dry day instead. We are in both a Flood Warning and Wind Advisory for the early evening hours. I will try to post again tomorrow with pictures.

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Thank You, Tina!

My friend, Tina,has just nominated me for a Creative Thinking Blogspot Award for 2007! Who would have thought I would be instrumental in someone actually “thinking”???

One of the conditions of the award is to pass along five other blogspots that I feel makes me stop and take time to actually think about something. This condition alone made me think, as I have run across many blogs composed of pure fluff. Those are the blogs I only visit once. In actuality, when I stop to think about it, I never go back to those.

Well…Here are MY choices:

My daughter Kelly’s blog always gets me to thinking – if it’s not something new to ponder, it can even be wonderful (or painful) memories.
Tina’s blog! I just love reading about the coming and goings of the cats, Sinda and Neelix and the Vishus sheep that John, and now Shepherdess Tina, take care of. We’ve just got to get Tina spinning up all of those fleeces!
Leigh has a wonderful journal of not only her weaving, but her beautiful handspinning. Leigh is the one who inspired me to get back into weaving after a long hiatus.
Farmgirl is one of the most interesting accounts of farm life, or at the very least of a “city-folk-makes-good-in-the-country” blog.
Michelle’s blog is a great one as well as Michelle asks intelligent questions that she can answer! And in the process makes one stop to think as well.
ShepherdChik is a great blog from fellow shepherdess Rebecca and the goings-on at her farm. Becca is a shepherdess whom I admire – probably ’cause we think an awful lot alike. (But then so do Tina and Michelle as well)
*And yes, I do know that’s six people I wish to nominate!*

And one comment I would like to make…of all the blogs to make me think, I have to include mine. I haven’t had to do this much thinking with my grey-matter in years – to think of what to write that doesn’t sound trite, or incoherent, among other things. Hell, just coming up with an idea is, at times, so taxing to the brain that the room fills with smoke as I try to get those two brain cells I have left rubbed together fast enough to create the spark of a thought. There are days when all I have is smoke but no fire. 😉

So “Hats Off!” to all of these people for being as creative as they are. They are MY inspiration to continue this folly and see it through. And bless every one of you who takes the time to remind me: “We haven’t seen a blog entry from you in a long time….”
Even if it has only been one day! 🙂

—The participation rules are simple:
1. If you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link back to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

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