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may 23, 1999 I'm worried about OC. I haven't seen him in two nights. I didn't see Cleo last night, either and she was late Friday. Blue and Angus were here. Brian said that maybe OC got stuck in someone's garage, although we both think OC is smarter than that. Friday night there was a catfight out front and Brian said it looked like OC and Cleo. I told him there's another red cat with full ears and that there is also a smallish black cat that comes by to eat. It could have been them. He said, yeah, why would OC beat up on Cleo? I sure hope I see him soon. I don't like this. I don't like this at all. Blue and Angus have been here about the same time every night.

Misse and I are becoming good friends. She knows I'll be there for a while in the morning, and only just stop by in the evening. We have a routine. I'll be over there for a couple of hours tomorrow, because I've gotta blow up balloons and decorate. The banner looks pretty good, I'm not sure where I'll hang it. And the cats were really good when I was taping it together. They didn't attack it once.

Gosh, I can't believe that I don't have a lot to talk about.

Oh, yeah, Bart ate a nasty looking caterpillar yesterday and this morning he was fighting with Gracie Anne. Well, she was running, he was chasing. I got out of bed and chased him back. Scratched Gracie on her soft head and told her it was okay, that he was just being a big meanie.

Hey, I joined a webring for old ladies who love cats. *snicker* For those of us 45 and older. That's it at the bottom of the page.

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may 24, 1999 OC was back out front last night, waiting for dinner. He was with Blue and Angus. Still no sign of Cleo. I don't have a good feeling about this.

I talked to the guy across the street yesterday morning, the one who was so nasty about Blackie. I tried to explain to him that spraying is what many cats do when they have physical problems like Blackie did. I don't know if he got it. He kept on about his five thousand dollar paint job. We kind of talked about how Blackie got to the neighborhood, if he was dumped or his owners' just moved away. I guess there's only one kitten from Cleo's litter and it looks just like Blackie. It lives in the house behind the guy I was talking to. I'm glad those people were able to rescue it. I sure hope they get it fixed when it's old enough. Only one kitten out of the litter, that's not good. I would think that meant the rest were dead. Cleo has no visible nipples (neither does Blue for that matter) and doesn't show any of the physical signs of having kittens. And Blue spent so much time over here after her's were born, sleeping in the entry way, that I didn't think her's survived, either.

Boy, I had a bad night's sleep last night. No reason, just wasn't tired. I got out of bed because I didn't want my tossing and turning to bother Brian. Tried to sleep on the couch for about an hour, then went back to bed. I don't think I got a straight hour's sleep the entire night. I'm sure tired now.

YAY!! My mom comes home today!!! I haven't blown up the balloons yet. And I still have to put more tape on the banner. I hope she's surprised.

Yesterday evening, I opened the sliding doors. Ciara went outside and played and Blackie stepped out onto the mat. Didn't go any further than that. He doesn't trust the dogs. But his nose was in the air and he was sniffing all of the smells. And Ciara is finally getting bigger. She actually has some *heft* to her when she's picked up. Not a feather anymore. She's also getting much more affectionate. Besides climbing on me in the office, she's started climbing on me in bed. And she was real good outside yesterday, didn't once look up at the fence for escape. Hopefully, that urge will completely go away.

Lucky has taken to sitting on my desk in the morning and gaze at me adoringly. LOL!! She likes to nibble on Ciara's kitten kibble, taking out a piece at a time. She is so cute.

Boy, I wonder what the deal is with the other cats and Gracie. She's been getting chased a lot. Then, she'll go into the garage and pick on Lonee. I wish they would stop. Probably has to do with the change in heirarchy again, now that Blackie is starting to find his place. Finally, the other cats have started sniffing Blackie, not just hissing, growling and running away. Maybe the fact that Blackie's fur has grown back enough so that he doesn't have those big shaved areas on his body anymore. He was pretty strange looking.

I just heard a crash from the kitchen. Ciara. Ciara just broke another bowl. It's just a small pyrex one cup custard bowl. Darnit. I hate the little pieces of glass. Hopefully, I got them all up.

Got my new Steam Vac put together yesterday. And after today, I'll try it out. After today, I can get back into some sort of routine, since I won't have to be leaving twice a day.

I entered bills, and printed checks to pay them yesterday for the company. So, the rest of the week should be mine. All mine!! Goodie!! And two weeks from today, we'll be waking up in the Disney Pacific Hotel. We'll be there for two nights. Anybody wanna meet? *grins* The weather seems to be warming up.....maybe I'll spend the next two weeks laying by the pool, reading a book. Sounds good, doesn't it? And best of all MY FEET DON'T HURT ANYMORE!!!!

11:12am I'm so scared. Within the last two hours, Blackie's breathing became really labored. Other than the breathing, he seemed fine. He let me pet him, he jumped down off of the ottoman, took a b..i..i..g stretch, I gave him a piece of chicken, which he happily ate, then he followed me over to his favorite window spot. I put him up in the window and he settled down. I watched his sides. Still breathing too fast and too hard. And he was licking his nose a lot. I called the vet's office, told them what was going on with him. I was told to bring him in. Now. I ran into the exercise room and grabbed a carrier. I put it on the chair, door opened and got Blackie. Ciara had jumped into the carrier. I took her out and put Blackie in. I ran into the bedroom and put on a bra. (Old lady floppy boobs, ya know?)

Once there, I didn't have a long wait. Thankfully, they weren't really busy. The vet did the chest thumping and listened through the stethoscope. Blackie's temperature was normal. He looked in his mouth and said that his gums were still pink and healthy, so he wasn't so bad that he wasn't getting needed oxygen into his system. He said it could be asthma, but that an X-ray would give him a more definitive answer. He measured Blackie's chest, then they took him into the back room. The longer I waited, the more nervous I got. About five hours later (not really, it just seemed so long) he came back in. He said it was a little worse than he thought. Blackie has a buildup of fluid around his lungs. That would be the reason he's always seemed to breathe a little faster than the other cats. And today, it finally reached a point where it made a difference when I looked at him. He mentioned a number of things it could be and said that the best thing to do right now is to get the fluid drained. That this would definitely make him more comfortable. Once tapped, some of the fluid will be sent out for testing. And they are keeping him overnight. Please, please, don't let Blackie have entered our lives to have a couple of good months, then die. It just isn't fair to him. I wanted him to have a good rest of his life, a long rest of his life, here in our home, with us. Please let him be okay. *tears*...........

2:30pm He's gone. He's dead. His heart stopped. The vet lightly sedated him and his heart stopped while the vet was doing the tap. The fluid was blood. The doctor said that he probably had a tumor. Oh, *tears*........

SOB!!! Blackie's gone.

Blackie's story..how Blackie came to live with us.

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may 25, 1999 Well, reality is sinking in. It hit hardest last night, for me, when I fed the cats. The paperbowl with the mixture of salmon NutroMax and regular NutroMax, that I would put out for Blackie when he raced me to the garage, was like a billboard. Blackie's not here anymore. Blackie was always the most vocal of the kitties for dinner. Blackie was the only one that rubbed against my legs, headbutting them. I use to think it was because he was happy to be fed. Now I think, it was because he was happy to have a good home with people who loved him in his final days. I think, somehow, he knew that he was dying. Our home was a hospice for him. Looking back on it, I think I expected him to not be here long. Many of the times I got up at night, I would check on him to see if he was still alive. We knew he was a special cat and every chance we had, we would give him a scratch on top of his head, or I would just put my arms around him and tell him how very special he was to us. I'm glad I did. I'm glad he knew love before he went to the bridge. We're going to have him cremated, so that we will have his physical body. I don't know what we will do with the ashes, but I know we won't put them where the dogs are. He hated dogs.

I was talking to a friend on the phone last night, CatLadyDi. She called from New York. We talked for quite a while and it made me feel better. One of the things we talked about was the blood. If it was cancer, cancer that had spread throughout his body, that could have been the reason for the blood in the urine. Whatever it was, it was too late when he came into our home to help him. I'll keep in my heart the thoughts that he didn't have that mating urge any longer, he had all the food he wanted, all the clean water, treats, and us. I thought that we were making progress with him making friends of the other cats. Just this past weekend, they were touching noses. Now, I think, he was saying goodbye.

Last night, Brian and I talked about it a little. And Brian said, even though he didn't live here, we kept him fed. As we do all the cats out front. So, that was one less problem in his life. I guess we hold onto whatever we can.

When I fed the outfront cats last night, Cleo still wasn't there. I told Brian that she's probably at the bridge with Blackie. It wasn't a very good night. After I shut down the computer, I looked out the front door to see if the cats had finished eating. A small dark cat was at one of the bowls. I turned on the light. It was Cleo. I was so relieved.

After I got the news, I paged Brian. I still had to put the balloons up at my mom's. He said to wait for him and he would help. At four, he still hadn't come home. I paged him again and he said to go ahead and go, and he would come over. My mom's plane was due in at 4:55. Once there, I let Misse out, which made her pretty happy. Then I started filling balloons with helium and tying strings on them. Brian arrived twenty minutes later. He put up the banner, then started tying balloons to the porch railing. He said that he thought I shouldn't mention Blackie to my mom. Not yet. I agreed. I'll tell her today. There was no reason to tell her yesterday, to make her first day home sad. We have plenty of days to be sad. I called the airline to see when the plane was arriving. It would be almost an hour late. This gave us some extra time to put stuff up. We had it all up, then we came home, so that we only had one vehicle at her place. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. At a quarter to seven, I got up and started writing her a message. Said that I had let Misse out and Brian, looking out the door, said "they're here." She really liked the balloons and banner, she was so happy to see them. She called last night after eight to say that she had gotten the dog and was happy to be home.

And life goes on.

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may 26, 1999 Yesterday was a good day. Nobody died.

I called the vet's yesterday about Blackie's remains. Shari hadn't heard. She didn't know what I was talking about. I told her. She took our credit card information and they will notify me when he's back. I'm not really feeling sad now. I feel empty, but not sad. I still cry, but it's because of the loss, the emptiness, but not sadness. I know that Blackie is in a better place, without the stiffness and the pain inside, that he had carried for so long. And I know that we did right by him. It was just his time. The Big Guy had another plan for him and took him home. Like all of our furfaces, he was only on loan to us.

I would like to thank all of you that have emailed your condolences on Blackie's passing, and the wonderful messages of support that you are leaving on Blackie's messageboard. You've just sent so many, I don't know if I will ever be able to respond to all of them. I was overwhelmed. I know that they have helped immensely and I can't express how much they mean to us. Thank you all so much and {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}} from the cathouse to all of you.

When I called the vet yesterday, I made an appointment for Ciara, to have that cute little nose looked at again. It's for Friday. She is becoming a good toe monster. And she knows that to kill the toe, she has to bite real hard. She knows that regardless of toe covering (sheet, blanket, bedspread) or no covering (barefeet) that to kill the toe, the jaws must lock. And she knows that to kill all of the toes, she must kill the leader toe (big toe) first. I do not know where she learned all of this, but she learned this lesson well. My big toes are quite killed. Many times over. They must have supernatural power, because they always come back from the dead, to be stalked and killed once again. She's such a little cutie pie. When you are screaming in pain from the toe monster, it's hard to think of anything else. We're starting to let her out a little more, to see what she does, if we can trust her yet. It sure would be nice to let the cat door stay open during the day.

Speaking of which, when I got up this morning (said good morning to the empty spot where Blackie had been sleeping, told him I hoped he was doing well, please send a sign) to let the cats out, when I went into the garage, Benny had moved the condo blocking the catdoor and went out. The other cats went out, Benny came in. I have no idea how long he was out. *sigh*

Around here, when a cat is being especially affectionate, we say "s/he's been hit by the love stick". Kirby has been it by this stick. Yesterday, he was following me around, he even laid on my desk while I typed. It was kind of nice. He's not a kitty who likes to be held, but he loves to be petted and have his tummy rubbed. Then, this morning, Georgie was all over Brian. Brian held him after he had gotten out of the shower, and Georgie was so content, that he drooled all over Brian's back and Brian had to dry off again. While he was drying off, Georgie jumped on his back.

I think I'll start taking pictures of the cats again. Blackie was afraid of the camera, so I don't have too many of him, but I think I have a couple. I was kind of waiting for more fur to grow back in. *sigh*

Brian told me this morning that I have to go to the bank today. Puke. I don't want to go to the bank, I don't want to leave the house. I want to lay by the pool, read a book and go swimming. Then he told me that he needed quarters for the meter. Not only do I not want to go to the bank, I most definitely don't want to go into the bank. Drivethru is bad enough. They won't send quarters through the drivethru system. Grr.... I dug in my purse, I dumped out the water bottle we are filling with loose change and gave him a big handful. He said that taking money out of the bottle defeats the purpose of saving money with the bottle. I didn't care. I don't want to go to the bank (which I have to) and I don't want to go inside the bank (which I don't have to). So there.

My mom just stopped by, brought me some stuff from Ireland. A couple of slippers that are adorable, have a little leprechan face. Of course, Ciara attacked them. I wonder if these would help protect my toes?

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may 28, 1999 Just finished with exercising. I'm all hot and sweaty. Gotta shower. After Brian leaves.

Ciara goes in today at ten. I hope the vet can do something about her breathing. Sometimes it's really bad. On his way out the gate, Brian said "NO SURGERY". If pills or medications can't help, she's not to have her nose operated on. Blackie's death scares him, too.

Yesterday, the woman who saved Blackie from the dogs came by. She brought hollyhocks and a jasmine plant. She was here for a couple of hours. Before she was to come over, her husband called and said she would be here. It took me less than an hour to clean. Washed the bathroom floor, wiped off the counter, dusted and vacuumed. Nice. I guess it didn't take long because I've been keeping up with it. This was the first time she had met Ciara and she was quite taken with her. She rubbed Ciara's belly and Ciara started playing with her, biting her fingers. She fell in love with Ciara's face. We talked a little about Blackie and I told her that I had made my peace with his passing, that I knew that it was the best thing for him. She asked if we were still planning on going to Disneyland and I told her yes. She said that was good. Did we want her to catsit? When I talked to Brian about it last night, we think that would be a good idea. Her family loves the cats. Especially her daughter. Since my mom doesn't care to drive in the evenings, we think that mom can come over in the morning, and Gail come over in the evening.

After Gail left yesterday, I grabbed my book and laid on the couch and read. It's nice to have a clean house (even the couch covers...the last one I washed had pee on it and it was bloody....I thought Blackie wasn't using the furniture anymore, guess I was wrong) and just kick back. Never even turned on the television once, yesterday. When Brian got home from work, he said that he had spent all of his funny money getting at the county getting the paperwork processed for our house. Cost $145. I wish I had that kind of funny money. But it cleaned him out, so I told him to go get milk and cash back. He also got Trader magazines and when he came home, he started looking at his Traders. No tv at all yesterday. Nice. Relaxing.

At one point last night, I guess I looked really sad and Brian said "what is it, honey?" and I put my head against his chest (we were standing up by the kitchen) and looking over at Blackie's spot in the bay window, tears in my eyes, I said "I wish we would have had more time with him." Brian said "don't dwell on him, honey". Well, I don't do it on purpose, it just hits me like an aftershock.

Three day weekend, yay!!

Same day, 10:30 am Just back from the vet's with Ciara. She's okay, but once again, there is very little air coming through her nose. He read in one of his journals about a new treatment, nosedrops, that are made with a mixture of Baytril and DMSO. The journal wasn't there, it was at his house. He's going home for lunch and will call me later today or tomorrow for the medicine.

We talked a little about Blackie and if he would have survived, he would have been in a lot of pain. The vet said that the only times he's seen fluid like this is with FIP or lymphosarcoma. He doubts it was FIP because that's one of the things he tested Blackie for when we first got him. And the titers were perfect, no appearance of a coronavirus in the system. It was most likely cancer.

When he was through examining Ciara (she kept coming back to me and climbing up on my shoulder) he said there's no charge for this today. I went to the front desk and settled up Blackie's final bill (I was only charged for the x-rays and office exam), ordered more S/D for Georgie and came home. I asked Shari when Blackie's ashes would be back and she said it should be any day.

I'm thinking about laying in the sun, but I overdid just a little on Wednesday. I guess I'll just put sunscreen on the burned part. I really do need to get some color on my legs before we go to Disneyland.

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may 30, 1999 Well, the vet never called back Friday. Then, Friday evening, I noticed Lisa straining in the litterbox. Little drops of urine. spit. She has a bladder infection. I called the vet's office Saturday a little after they opened to see if I could just get medication and not have to bring her in. They said sure, it would be about an hour. I took a shower, got dressed and went down to the grocery store and bought them two boxes of Entemann's Popems. (I love those, but I'm being good.) Took them over and while I was there, they made up the drops for Ciara's nose. I'm to alternate nostrils. Left one day, right the next. I have to write it on the calendar. I was surprised how quickly it worked. Ciara does not like nosedrops and I had to fight with her a little to get it in. Lisa is good at taking her pills. And she's already doing better.

Friday, I noticed that my hair was dull. So, I pulled out a frosting kit that I've had for some time and started reading the directions. I waited until Brian got home from work, we ate, he read his Trader magazines, then we got started. He pulled the hair through the cap, which went pretty smoothly except for a couple of times the hair knotted when pulled out and it hurt when he tried to comb the knots out. And once he stuck the plastic thing that the hair is pulled out with in my ear. It took until nine thirty. Then it was time to put on the chemicals. One of the cats, Mickey, had poked holes in the bag with the powder. We weren't sure how he did it, with his claws or by biting the bag. Biting would be no good at all. Brian had seen him playing with it, but didn't know what it was, so he hadn't said anything to me. It had been about forty-five minutes and Mickey wasn't acting strange or sick. We watched him closely the rest of the night, but he acted normally. He must have put the holes in with his claws. *whew* Still wasn't very smart of me to leave the thing out. Won't happen again. Once the solution was on my head, it was another ninety minutes. At 11:30, we were finished. And there was tons of hair in the comb. Great, now I'm gonna lose all of my hair. Still damp, I braided it and we went to bed at midnight. Saturday morning, I brushed it before I got into the shower, more hair came out. *sigh* But after my shower, there was hardly any in the comb, so I think the hair that came out was stuff damaged when pulled through, then damaged more when I took the cap off. My hair is really blond now, Brian said he's never seen me this blond. I like it. He says he'll get use to it. *grins*

Brian went and looked at property again yesterday. It looks like some of the stuff is finally coming down in price, but nothing that he's interested in. He was gone a long time, he left before eight, got home at three. I hadn't eaten much and asked if he had. Yes. He stopped at the Julian Pie Shop Cafe, even though we said we wouldn't anymore. He figured it's been a while, maybe the service has gotten better. Boy, was he surprised. *snicker* It took him forty minutes to get his breakfast. At one point, the person beside him, who had arrived and been seated after him, was eating before him. And this person had sent his first meal back as unacceptable. And Brian still didn't have his food. He finally asked a waitress about it, the cook hadn't even started. Brian was so mad. Then, the meal was bad. He said he had requested the bacon extra crispy, it was rubbery, the potatoes were old and stale, dried out. When the waitress asked how his meal was, he didn't mince words. He told her exactly what he thought. She took his meal and they didn't charge him for it. He didn't leave a tip either. Some people sat down beside him and one point and he told them "if you're in a hurry, you're in the wrong place." All they had was pastry and coffee and they didn't finish their meal, left a five dollar bill and took off. If this place doesn't get it's act together, it won't be around much longer.

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lisaviolet is fifty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.








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