Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday, January 31 - Day 14

Nothing new to report.  Sassy is still spending days in the family room, laundry room and spare bedroom with little supervision and her nights in the laundry room.  She's still taking her Prozac although she's starting to fight me a little in the morning.  She's eating well but not getting rid of much of it.  She doesn't seem to be bothered by it.  We changed the litter box for a clean one with fresh litter today - tomorrow is garbage day so we've picked Thursday for this chore.

The next time that Carl spends time at his computer in the living room, we're going to let her out while he watches her. 

Oatmeal, anyone?

I love oatmeal, I'd eat it everyday if I weren't too lazy to fix it (Honeynut Cheerios are soooooooooo much easier).  Today I had some spare time so I nuked a bowl, added a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of sugar, some half and half and a few raisins.  A healthy breakfast for a change, right?

Oatmeal, anyone?

I love oatmeal, I'd eat it everyday if I weren't too lazy to fix it (Honeynut Cheerios are soooooooooo much easier).  Today I had some spare time so I nuked a bowl, added a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of sugar, some half and half and a few raisins.  A healthy breakfast for a change, right?

I pulled out my ream of kraft cardstock and after being inspired by a recent GinaK video, colored some stamps.  I discovered my Copics are very different on kraft as opposed to my usual white or cream Beckett Radiance cardstock.  After playing with a scrap for a while, I finally printed a new copic color chart from Suzanne Dean's classroom site on kraft cardstock and spent part of the evening last night coloring it in.  Amazing how a vibrant color can become antiqued just by using this color base.

Lots of firsts here.  I don't normally use colors for the sentiments.  As with the Copics, I wasn't sure how they would look on Kraft so I made charts for my inks: Memento, Distress and PTI, although I don't have many PTI pads.  When I pulled this Jellybean Poptone cardstock out, I matched it to my Memento Bamboo Leaves and Copic G14.  The image and sentiment are from Flourishes and I've added a tiny Recollections pearl to the sentiment.

I made my own envelope out of some text weight recycled kraft paper and added a liner to it.  I've been listening to all the hype about the new Envelope Punch Board that came out at CHA.  Sounds like the enthusiasm outweighed the manufacturing capability and orders have been pushed out to May in some cases.  I still use my Martha Stewart scoreboard and envelope maker as well as my Crafter's Companion and I can't say I wouldn't like to get my hands on the new one as well, but I'll make do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday, January 29 - Day 12

Sassy finally let go last night and again this morning.  What a relief that it was after I went to bed so Carl had to clean the litter box last night, but I did the honors this morning.  I actually had to spray the laundry room - whew! - and turn on the exhaust fan.  This morning we were playing the chasing game.  She hides behind my big footstool until I pop over the footstool and say 'boo'.  Then she takes off running through the family room and into the spare bedroom where she hides on the other side of the treadmill and we start all over again.  After about five trips at breakneck speed, she finally plops down on the hearth to catch her breath.  Day 12 and no accidents.  She's still on the Prozac, she's eating and drinking well.  She's spending more time by herself in the family room and seems to be adapting to the meds well except for the occasional bad temper.  When we're in the family room she likes to stay close to us, so we're pleased with that.

I'm starting to worry about our trip in March.  Our sitter had a terrible time with the Prozac when we went to Florida at Christmas and had to discontinue it.  Sassy hid behind the entertainment center and it would take the incredible hulk to get her out.  The sitter can't spend all day waiting for her and she tends to have accidents when we leave and when we return.  Punishment perhaps.  So, we're thinking of boarding her if our new vet does that.  Otherwise, we might have to keep her locked in the family room while we're gone.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Update on Sassy....

This is Day 10 of Sassy's confinement.  If we're not actively watching her, she's in the laundry room.  We haven't had an accident in all of the ten days but her bathroom habits have been very irregular.  She can go two whole days without using the litter box and we know she hasn't been going any place else because she's constantly under our supervision.  She's also been getting her Prozac every day which is causing personality changes.  She more agressive, not to the point of hurting us, but she really lets us know that she's not pleased with us.  She's more vocal to the point of howling.  Some days she sleeps most of the day and other days she's wide awake for most of it.  She's not playing like she used to, she's rarely even interested in the red dot.  We're hoping her temperament will even out soon; literature says two weeks to a month before the drug really takes effect.

I do take her to my craft room once in a while.  She has a litter box, food and water here and I can keep an eye on her while I craft. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday, January 26 - Day 9

Sassy had another kind of runny bowel movement late Thursday and nothing since then.  She has peed, but nothing solid in two days.  She's also been alone in the family room for a while today.  I look in on her every twenty minutes or so and I did cover up my chair with a waterproof pad and then piled my afghan on top of it so it didn't look like an invitation to use the pad for a litter box.  The last time I checked she was in the bookshelf that holds our towels for the downstairs shower.  She's slept there before.  She's slept almost all day.  She wasn't interested in the flannel string or the red dot this morning.  I'm hoping her temperament will even out, literature says two weeks to a month before the Prozac starts to work.

I brought her up to my room early this morning and she was again desperate to get out.  She sat by the door and cried, howled actually, until I took her back to the laundry room.  Silly me, I thought she had to go to the bathroom and wouldn't use the box in my craft room, but it seems that wasn't the case.  However, when I got back to my room, I saw she had used the box up here to pee.  And she spent half a day up here yesterday with no problems.

I've order another pill shooter, one that holds water as well as the pill.  The one we have is so long it's hard for me to use.  The new one is shorter and should be easier for my small hands to handle.  On the upside, it's getting easier to give her a pill in the morning.

Our contractor said installing a whole house humidifier isn't a problem and he'll be ready to work on the 11th and will give us a list of parts to buy.  He's starting on the guest room first, but I'd be happier if he'd do the humidifier before the bathroom.  I shock myself on my computer now and it's uncomfortable.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday, January 24, Day 7

There have been personality changes in Sassy since we started giving her the Prozac again.  She's excessively vocal.  You can't touch her without her meowing and if you pick her up, she actually howls.  This morning she had had a bowel movement that looked odd, part of it was very dry looking.  She didn't have a bowel movement yesterday but that's been a pattern.  She goes several days in a row and then nothing for a day or two and then she poops again.

I cleaned the litter box, gave her the Prozac, and fed her.  She ate while we read the paper, drank coffee and watched the news, during which she urinated in the litter box.  When we left the family room I took her with me to my craft room and when I set her on her platform and got a whiff of her, I realized she had a mess on her butt.  Off to the kitchen and a bigger than normal struggle; she seemed frantic to get away but I held her while Carl cleaned her.  I toweled her off and put her back in the laundry room to groom, it's the warmest room in the house.

After an hour or so, I went down to check on her and since she was partly dry, brought her back up to my craft room along with her brush.  I set her on her platform and tried to brush her; she growled at me and actually hissed.  She's never done that before.  Meow, yes, growl, no, hiss, never.  I've had cats all my life and that was a "I'm seriously angry, leave me alone" growl.  She's currently hiding in my craft room closet and that's ok.  It's been a stressful morning for her.  I'll only interrupt her to add a half teaspoon of Vaseline to a paw to counter act all the fur I know she'll ingest while grooming.  She must have given up on the hairball tablets, it looks like she hasn't touched the last two and that's a shame because it looked like they were working.

On an unrelated note, it's been amazingly cold here lately.  Our furnace runs non-stop and the humidifier can't keep up.  She's got static electricity in her fur and maybe petting her hurts.  I'm going to ask our contractor about a whole house humidifier the next time we talk.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, Day 6

Sassy is spending the day with me in my craft room and I'll tell you, she's a little freaked out.  It's been weeks since she's been in any part of the house but the family room/laundry room with an occasional stroll into the spare bedroom.  I've plugged in a diffuser with her Feliway in it and placed her on her platform in the window but she keeps running to the door and crying.  Hopefully she will settle down soon.

No accidents in 5 days.  She had a healthy bowel movement yesterday and urinated several times.  She's eating well, she had half a can of Fancy Feast today but I don't think she touched the hairball pill.

She's now happy playing with a piece of string and has quieted down.  So, we'll craft today and see how that goes.

Scandal, controversy, outrage....

The news was just full of it this morning.  Were they talking about politicians fighting in Washington, was the President sleeping with another woman, was Hugh Grant caught in an automobile with a prostitute again?  No, Beyonce MIGHT have lip-synced The Star Spangled Banner.  I suggest we just give the Marine Corps band a long time-out.  They broke the story which they now repudiate.  Maybe she did, maybe she didn't, we don't know.  Aren't there more important things going on it the world?  For crying out loud, Kim Kardashian is pregnant and we're focusing on Beyonce?  Sheeesh, let's just get over it, ok?

Scandal, controversy, outrage....

The news was just full of it this morning.  Were they talking about politicians fighting in Washington, was the President sleeping with another woman, was Hugh Grant caught in an automobile with a prostitute again?  No, Beyonce MIGHT have lip-synced The Star Spangled Banner.  I suggest we just give the Marine Corps band a long time-out.  They broke the story which they now repudiate.  Maybe she did, maybe she didn't, we don't know.  Aren't there more important things going on it the world?  For crying out loud, Kim Kardashian is pregnant and we're focusing on Beyonce?  Sheeesh, let's just get over it, ok?

I'm still on a Monica Bjork kick.  My Cameo is getting an amazing workout and next on the agenda is my Chomas pens and creating my own backgrounds.   They're in a drawer and have been since I purchased them.  My next project will be designing a card in MTC - the frame, the embellishments and the sentiment and then cutting and drawing it.  Stay tuned for that.

This card was the Laced Frame 17 paired with Penny Black's Petal Party and Memento Peanut Brittle.  I sponged the frame, attached it to the card base, stamped the flowers, ran Spica Clear down the dotted lines, touched the center with Stickles Star Dust (thanks Suzanne Dean) and some Glossy Accents.  A few tiny Recollections pearls added just the right touch, the sentiment is from PTI's Vol. 1, No. 1 and Bob's your uncle.  The card stock is some I've had in my pile for ten or more years so I have no idea where it came from but I'm glad I kept it all these years.

For those of you who were following our journey with Sassy, here is the updated information -

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday, January 21 - Day 4

We're settling into some kind of routine.  About five a.m. I get up, fix Sassy's breakfast, break a hairball tablet into a bowl, force a Prozac down her and then feed her.  After reading the paper, drinking a cup of coffee, playing with her for a bit and watching the news she goes back into the laundry room.  Carl and I each take about an hour during the day to sit and play with her; she needs the exercise.  She comes out of the laundry room again around five p.m. while we eat dinner in the family room and she stays out until Carl goes to bed - around ten.  We haven't had any accidents because if she's out of the laundry room, we're watching her full time, if we can't see her, we go looking for her.

This morning her pill went right down, she played with the 'flannel string' (her favorite toy) ate about half of her breakfast, she hasn't touched the hairball medicine yet but she did eat it yesterday, and best of all, she had a normal (and large) bowel movement.  We fear she might be creating a new habit.  The laundry room/bathroom is the one we use when we're watching TV and she usually follows us into the bathroom if we go.  Yesterday, she followed me into the bathroom and while I used the toilet, she used the litter box.  This morning she did the same thing.  We know she can go by herself with no paw holding, but it's funny that she wants to 'go' while we 'go'. 

I'm still feeling very guilty about confining her but since she sleeps so much, I guess it isn't such a hardship on her.  She has a cozy bed in the laundry room in a nook between the sink and the washer and she has some toys that move around so I'm sure she's playing with them.  We clean the litter box as she uses it so there's no odor (that we can smell anyway) and we completely change and scrub the box on Thursday (garbage day).  Twenty six days to go.

High praise....

I've been spending a lot of time in my craft room getting ready for a craft sale at the end of March.  And, since we're meeting my friend Vivi and her husband in Memphis in March, time grows short for adding to my inventory.  I wanted to do something a little differently for this show so I fired up my Silhouette Cameo and cut some Monica Bjork files.  I am awed by her talent which she gives away for free.

This cut file is Laced Frame 15 and actually took a bit to 'clean up'.  Not all the tiny holes cut cleanly but the diamond shapes did.  Perhaps my blade needs to be changed.  I cut this frame at 5.5" x 5.5" and used Bazzill card stock to make my card.  After I cleaned up the frame, I masked the center and sponged Memento Summer Sky, Paris Dusk, Danube Blue and Sweet Plum on it.  I used Paris Dusk to stamp Penny Black's Queen Anne's Lace onto the center and touched it up with Spica Clear.  The sentiment is PTI's Birthday Basics.  I curved it on the acrylic block so it filled the corner and I dotted the 'i' with a Recollections Pearl.

This is a close up of the center - don't you just love clear stamps?  You have the ability to cut them apart, twist and curve them, they're just so versatile.  You can't see the sparkle, but there is some.

Thank you, Monica, for your lovely cut files, you are amazing.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday, January 18th - Day 1

I'm so frustrated I could cry.  Thursday, Sassy made a mess on my chair.  It was really watery, there's wasn't a lot, and perhaps could have been an accident.  I cleaned up the chair and placed a layer of waterproof pad, a layer of an old blanket (assuming she really likes to poop on the pad) and a layer of  newspaper on the chair.  Later that day she pooped on the newspaper, again, more on the watery side.  Carl put her back in the laundry room.  When I went to check on her an hour later, I found she'd also made a mess of her backside, so up to the sink.  I got out the blow dryer (first time I've ever used it on her) and she just laid down and let me dry her, leading me to believe she's been through that before.

She spent the afternoon in the laundry room and was only let out when we had dinner (which we ate on TV trays in the family room so we could be with her - this might be a new tradition).  I went to bed at 8:30 and Carl put her back in the laundry room when he went to bed.  Our new rule is she isn't out of the laundry room unless we are right there to babysit.  No trusting her to be good.  And we've closed off the spare bedroom so we can see her all the time.

This morning she had made a huge mess in the laundry room - all over her cat box and the pad underneath it.  In cleaning the pad, I discovered a ton of hair mixed in with the poop.  As far as we know, she's only coughed up one hairball since we've had her.  And since she's always grooming herself and she has long hair, it stands to reason she's been ingesting lots of hair.  So, I suppose it stands to reason that hair has been somewhere.  The diarrhea could be a symptom of hair in her digestive track - liquid can bypass it but solids can't.  We started giving her the Vet's Best Hairball Relief just a few days ago and this elimination might be a result of that.  I've cut the pills down to one a day - 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 in the evening instead of two pills a day.  Eventually she will get all cleaned out but for the foreseeable future, she's still living in the laundry room unless we are right next to her.  This is Day 1 of laundry room confinement.

Graphic Arts here I come

A member of my design team recently forwarded an e-mail to me from an 11th grade teacher who was looking for help in designing a ticket for her classes’ prom. I have a little experience in CorelDRAW so I volunteered to design something using her input. This was the final version. The original version had two Eiffel Towers on the left and was lacking the black box. The text was black and only three lines. After running the design by her 11th graders, this was the result. I don’t know if that qualifies me as a Graphic Artist, but I very much enjoyed the process.

Prom Ticket

This card was created for my friends in Montana. I discovered that you can’t use Zing Embossing Powder and copics. It’s possible I didn’t heat it well enough but I found the powder very smeary. So, I pulled out my FibraColor markers and colored this image. The markers worked very well on my Beckett Radiance 120lb paper. The background was done using the FibraColor markers and the Stampin’ Up Color Spritzer Tool. This tool can’t be used with the Copics due to the shape of the Copics, but all round markers fit in it.


Paper: DCWV Gone Wild, Bazzill, Stash; Stamps: Lindy's Stamp Gang 'Desert Critters'; FibraColor Markers, Zing Embossing Powder

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Major setback 2...

I was feeling pretty good about Sassy when I went to bed last night.  Carl was at a Camera Club function so I locked up.  Just before I turned off the TV, Sassy was meowing around my legs so I walked into the laundry room to see if she wanted to be coaxed to go potty.  She sat in front of the litter box so I sat down on the toilet and talked to her for a bit.  She eventually climbed into the litter box and did both a number one and a number two.  Since we're having trouble with daily elimination and since she'd pooped already, I left her in the family room but I'm nobodies fool - I covered my chair with a waterproof pad before I went to bed.  This morning she had pooped on the pad on my chair, fairly runny and quite a bit.  Carl and I discussed it this morning and we thought maybe she thought the waterproof pad was an invitation.  When the boxes were in the living room sitting on top of a pad, she used the pad as often as the box.  On the other hand, my chair was the first place in the house she used as a litter box (other than the box, of course).  So, no matter how good she is, she gets locked up in the laundry room every night for 30 days, no exceptions.

On a good note, she's still crazy about the hairball pills.  I crumbed another one over her breakfast and while she didn't eat all the food, she did clean up all the pill.  I'm going to give it another two weeks (we have a one month's supply) and then order more if she's still eating it.

My friend was over yesterday for 'movie day' which we have every Tuesday.  In case stress is the problem, this is the only thing that happened beyond the normal stuff that happens everyday.  Ruthann did spend some time petting her but she didn't seem overly alarmed by it even though she did 'nip' at her.  She's done that to me and Carl when she's finished with attention but she's never hurt us and then, there's the static electricity thing...

If we don't have this solved by mid-March, we will have to have her boarded at the vets.  Our sitter will not have the time to devote to letting her out of the laundry room in the morning, playing with her for a while, keeping an eye on her while she's out and then placing her back in the laundry room at night.  We do like our vet a lot and I have no doubt she will be well treated as opposed to our last vet - I wouldn't leave a stuffed animal overnight with them.  Stay tuned....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From this window - 1/15/13...

We've had an unusual winter this year.  I think that might be true for most of the United States.  We've had pretty moderate temperatures until just recently when we had a fast freeze.

We keep our feeders full when we aren't traveling and we have lots of feeders.  We have a feeder with a squirrel guard for clinging birds we keep filled with black oil sunflower seed.  Several house sparrows have learned how to grab a seed or two but for the most part, this feeder supports 'good' birds:  titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches.

We have two upside down suet feeders that we keep filled with a variety of suet.  The same house sparrows have learned how to fly up into the feeder, grab a bite and fall to the ground.  They aren't very graceful and they don't get much but they are persistent.  Last year a starling learned how to do the same thing but I haven't seen any try this year although we've had some huge flocks in the area.

We have one peanut feeder on the north side of the house and one peanut feeder on the east side.  One contains shelled peanuts and the other whole peanuts in the shell.  Both are well loved.  In the winter, peanuts and suet are high energy feed for birds.  When the weather gets really cold, the birds need the energy to stay warm.  We purchase our peanuts from both Forest Park Nature Center and Kelly Seed but find the peanuts from Kelly Seed are larger and don't fall through the wire mesh of our feeder as readily as the Forest Park peanuts.  We do use the Forest Park peanuts in the hanging feeder mixed with black oil sunflower seed.

We have a small hanging platform feeder on the east side of the house right outside the bay window.  When she's not being confined, our cat loves to lay in the bay window and watch the birds that come to the feeders there.

On the south side of the house on the deck, we have a heated bird bath.  In the winter, water is very important.  When it gets really cold, birds have a hard time finding water without ice on it.  A few days ago there were four bluebirds at our birdbath.  We also have a small feeder inside a cage by our family room window that drives the squirrels nuts because they can't get to it.  The cat lays in the window and watches the squirrels swing on the cage.  Our cage is like this, but the feeder inside is just a small feeder like this one.

In front of the garage on the east side we have a four foot high platform feeder which we fill with a mixture of seeds.  The squirrels, birds, deer and an occasional possum use this feeder.  On the south side of the garage we have a 36" tall thistle feeder.  This feeder sometimes gets filled twice a week when the goldfinch are in residence.  Goldfinch are funny - some years they are thick in the winter and other years we don't see any at all.  This year they seem to be everywhere.

We have a couple of winter visitors we don't usually have this year.  A pair of red breasted nuthatches have graced us with their presence.  They like black oil sunflower seed, suet and peanuts.  They're much smaller than their cousins the white breasted nuthatch.  We also have a Carolina Wren that's spending time with us.  Also a peanut eater, the wren is fun to watch.  And to top all that excitement, a Pileated Woodpecker flew past my craft room window one day last week.  I wish it would stop for the peanuts or suets; that would just make my winter.

Day 18 in the big house...

Tuesday - 6:26 a.m. - Sassy seems like her old self today.  She spent the night in the laundry room and couldn't get out fast enough this morning although as soon as she saw I had her breakfast, she ran right back in.  She ate breakfast and she had used her litter box twice - and covered it up.  I know it's too soon to get excited, but this covering it up action is encouraging.  As long as we've had her (since August 2), she's rarely done any covering or scratching in her litter box.  She was spirited and playing when I left her in the family room.  I've opened up the spare bedroom once again for her running pleasure.

We expect her hairball medicine to show up tomorrow.  I'll let you know how that works.  She still isn't regulated - she's not back to one bowel movement a day yet.  She didn't have one yesterday although the day before that she had several.  It's as if she's holding it and waiting for 'the voices' to tell her it's time to make a deposit.

Last night while Carl held her down and talked sweetly to her, I took the clippers and clipped the hair on her butt, the back of her tail and the back of her legs.  With her tail down, you can't even tell, but this should help with clean up.  She didn't seem to really care what we were doing and as soon as we were finished, she thoroughly inspected the clippers.  Carl said she couldn't figure out why it smelled like her butt.  All the fur I clipped (and it was a bunch) and all the fur from brushing goes into a sack next to my chair.  In the spring I will load a large grid peanut feeder with all the fur and watch the titmice fight over it.  For a few days there will be cat fur all over the backyard but they will clean it up nicely.  Titmice seem to love cat fur for lining their nests.  Our house seems a little dry this year even though the humidifier is working well.  Perhaps her disinterest in grooming is due to the static electricity that appears sometimes when I brush her.  She does seem to be scratching more often (she doesn't have fleas) so perhaps she has dry skin.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sassy's sick...

Sunday - 7:44 a.m. - Sassy had a bad case of the runs last night - the good news is it was all in the litter box.  The other good news was after I thoroughly cleaned her box yesterday and added an inch of new litter, she not only used the box, but she actually covered up stuff.  Lots of evidence of scratching which she hadn't done before.  Could the depth of the litter have been the problem all along?  I'd give myself a Gibbs slap if that were true.  While I was cleaning the litter box, she threw up in the family room - a huge hairball, among other things.  We got out the spot cleaner and cleaned up the mess and just left her alone for a while.

A half an hour later, we had another round of the diarrhea, worse than the first one.  I had read that if a hairball gets caught in the system, the only thing that can work its way around the hairball is liquid.  So, that explains the runs.  And, with long fur, there's always a mess on her associated with the mess in the litter box so it was up to the sink for a hosing off.  I also removed her breakfast to save for later, I'm sure her stomach isn't up to eating.  She's currently in her 'safe place', hiding in her carrier.  She only uses it when she's stressed as I expect she is now.

We've put Hairball Control on our shopping list since she's not really happy with me brushing her lately.  She used to love it, now, not so much.  Cats are really funny creatures, aren't they?  Perhaps she's in a snit about being locked up.

Plan ZZ falls apart....

I spent most of yesterday using our new Hoover Carpet Cleaner in my craft room.  I added some vinegar to the last pass so my room smells like vinegar but according to the web, cats hate the smell of vinegar.  I only used it in the area that Sassy used while we were on vacation.  While I was at it, I also cleaned the hallway.  I love the new carpet cleaner but since it's small and easily managed, it runs out of water frequently.  I wouldn't recommend cleaning a whole house with this, but for smaller jobs, this little beauty rocks.

Meanwhile, last night the other shoe dropped.  I suspect Sassy is the one that made a mess in the spare bedroom six inches from the litter box.  We cleaned it up, sprayed the area liberally with vinegar water and pondered our next move.  Which we are still pondering.

Sadie has been completely untouchable for the last two days.  She's been playful, more active than usual but not in the least friendly.  It's clear she's not happy but we don't know if it's because of the medication or just her crappy personality.  We're going to give her a week to calm down, if she doesn't, we'll call the vet and reinstate the meds.  I'd rather she slept all day and seemed comfortable in the house than always angry and on edge.

So, we don't have a plan.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Major setback...

We left Sassy out on the 2nd level last night and I found a mess on my footstool this morning.  We immediately scooped her up and put her back in the bathroom with her breakfast.  After I finished some work around the house I went back down to sit with her while she gets some exercise out of the laundry room and noticed she had poop on her backside.  Quite a bit of it.  And there was some poop in her litter box.  I took her up to the kitchen and bathed her from the waist down.  She's so much bigger than our last cat and Carl drove to the city this morning so he couldn't help - she absolutely hated the bath but didn't bite or scratch me.  It was difficult to hold her and wash at the same time but I finally finished.  After she was clean and as dry as she would let me get her, I took her litter box to the garage and brought in the clean one (we haven't changed the litter or the box in two weeks).  Later this evening I will have Carl hold her while I take the clippers to her backside and clean up some of that fur.  I don't know if the accident was due to her idea the box was dirty, poop stuck to her butt or civil disobedience.  But, she's back in the laundry room at night again and we're starting Day 1.

I read on the ASPCA site this morning that this could take months and sometimes cat's won't change their behavior no matter how long you confine them.

1st Bathroom Upgrade...

We are almost finished shopping for the materials for the first bathroom (our guest room bath).  Things are piling up in the garage - the Koehler Whirlpool Tub, the vanity, the two cabinets for either side of the vanity, the faucet, tile for around the tub and on the floor.  We have not purchased the faucet for the tub or the paint.  Our contractor is still recovering from foot surgery and has at least three more weeks until he can start work.  One of the very best parts of growing old is patience, and I have a bunch of it.  We just keep stacking up pieces and waiting for THE DAY!

Thinking of you...

I have a double ream of this lovely cream linen-look card stock that I uncovered during a cleaning binge.  I've had it so long, I don't remember where I got it but I'm going to start using it.  The background stamp is from Penny Black and the telephone is from PTI.  I used Memento Morocco ink for the background and Versafine Black ink for the sentiment which shall remain un-named because I don't know who made it.  I popped up the telephone receiver and the entire panel with foam tape.  It's nice to be back in the grove again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Coloring, hinting....

Coloring:  I am still playing with my pencils and this is my latest offering.  I have all of my digital images divided by folders in my computer.  When I got ready to sit down seriously and color, I opened my Mo Manning folder and printed several images in Word.  Since I scanned this image, I added Glossy Accents to the pot which shined it up nicely.  I really love doing the hair on these images, you don't have to blend.  You just find three colors that go together well and stroke them in.  I have another little girl on the drawing board, hopefully I can share tomorrow.

Hinting:  I often see examples of really fine cardmaking that I want to save for future inspiration.  Keeping track of those pictures I copy (I don't use Pinterest) is often a problem.  I've recently solved it.  When I do a 'save as' on a picture of a card that has an element I really like, I name it with that element.  Such as:  I found a picture of a card that had a terrific layout on it.  So I named it 'Layout 1', I assumed I would find more pictures of layouts that I like.  I would never be so crass as to copy exactly another person's art, but I do get ideas from looking.  Later, when I look through my saved pictures, I can tell from the name what it was that caught my attention.  I've also created a little database in Access that keeps track of URLs that I find informative.  There are only three fields:  name, URL and comment.  I might find a wonderful tutorial on making a word book so I would add 'Word Book' into the name field, the URL of the tutorial in the URL field and a comment such as 'would be a great book to send to Lowell and Marcia for Christmas'.  When I am at a loss for ideas for Lowell and Marcia, I will search the comment section for their names.  I can also search the name for 'word book'.  We all know that inspiration can elude us sometimes, these two ideas often jumpstart my creativity.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family room - 2nd week...

Friday - 6:16 a.m. - Day 15 - Sassy was out on the 2nd floor of the house all day while we went to lunch and saw a movie (Lincoln).  We arrived home about 6:18 p.m. (in time for Jon Stewart) and when we went to bed we didn't lock her up in the bathroom (first time she's been out all night since we started the 'reconditioning').  We had both solid and liquid in the litter box this morning.  Could it be that when we brought her home after she lived in a cage for so long there was just too much room in our large house?  We have four levels.  Her litter box had been in my husband's work room - and she used it, but then she used other spots, too.  When we went to Wisconsin, we lived in a cottage that had less square footage than our second level - and NO accidents.  Her litter box was just a few steps away from anywhere she was.  We tried the litter boxes here on different levels but she always used the same one or right next to the same one.  We certainly are not ready to give her the run of the house but I don't feel so bad about keeping her locked up with the family room, laundry room and spare bedroom to run in.  She also has two windows to sit in so she can see the birds.  Tuesday she completely disappeared.  I called her and looked everywhere she could hide (not many hiding places and the spare bedroom had not been accessible on Tuesday).  Just when I was starting to get really worried, she popped her head out of the bookcase that holds towels.  It had been in the laundry room but we moved it to the hall so she had more room for her litter box and bed.  I'm more encouraged by her progress every day.

Thursday - 7:43 a.m. -Day 14 - We seem to be on the way to regularity.  We had regular bowel movements both Tuesday and Wednesday and pee this morning.  We played with the feathers for a while this morning and I'm going to open the spare bedroom for her to roam in - at least until we leave to meet friends for lunch (that gives her one whole floor to run in).  The PetGuard Premium Feast arrived last night so we dished some out for supper.  She wasn't interested at all, and she followed me out of the laundry room crying.  So, I fixed her one half of a can of Fancy Feast which she ate with relish and gave her one half of a cup of her dry Iams.  She also had one half of a can of Fancy Feast for breakfast.  Still, the real test is going to be the living room - we have that hurdle to get over.  Will she still feel the need to use the living room as a litter box?  Only time will tell.

Tuesday - 5:57 a.m. - Day 12 - After discontinuing the Prozac on Saturday, Sassy has been much more active, playing and chasing us like she used to do.  She's awake more during the day but she's still in kitty prison when we go to bed.  She's been on her own in the family room for two days with no accidents but we do check on her periodically and play with her.  The only thing that worries us is her inconsistent elimination.  Before being locked up, she was peeing several times a day and pooping at least once.  She's now peeing just once a day (on rare occasions, twice) and pooping once every other day or sometimes every third day.

Sunday - 6:05 a.m. - Day 10 - This morning there was poop in the cat box but not nearly enough to account for the food she's eaten in the last three days.  Twenty minutes later - another elimination and this one was as much food as she's eaten in three days - a whopper.  I'm sure it isn't good for her to hold it as long as she has.

Yesterday I took away her dry food which is down all the time and fed her 3 small meals of canned food which contains water.  I also ordered a few cans of PetGuard Premium Feast Dinner to see if that would regulate her.  This morning I gave her a third of a can of Fancy Feast and 1/4 cup of dry food.  She's eating much better since we stopped giving her the medication and she's much less paranoid.

With the exception of keeping her locked up, we have our lives back, neither of us is spending all day in the family room.  If this keeps up, we will open the spare bedroom to her next week.  It's on the same level as the family room and will give her more running room, but we will continue to lock her up at night.  Carl did put away the cage yesterday, I doubt we will need that again, she's so distressed by being in it that I don't have the heart to put her back until we go to Wisconsin next September.

Found my pencils....

My first attempt with my Copics after so long was pretty disappointing.  It seems I've forgotten every lesson I ever learned.  Luckily, I seem to be able to handle my pencils a bit better.

Although this isn't a card, yet, it soon will be and I'll post it.  I really like the way this turned out, especially the blending.  I didn't realize until I brought it into my blog that I hadn't colored the flower on the purse.  It's now the same color as the flowers on the hat.  Any and all suggestions/comments are invited.

On the wildlife front, yesterday while I was checking my e-mail, I glanced out the window and saw the most magnificent coyote just trotting down the road.  His/her coat was full and he/she looked as if finding food hadn't been a problem so far this winter - it looked very healthy.  My husband and I were just commenting on the fact we hadn't seen any cats lately - could be why.  Coyotes love cats - they taste just like chicken.  We have several homeowners in our subdivision that don't see anything wrong with opening up the door and letting their cats run free.  Our speed limit is 30 mph inside the village limits but people also don't see anything wrong with 50 mph.  A cat doesn't stand much of a chance against a healthy coyote or a speeding car.

This morning I saw two whitetail next to the road.  Deer sightings have been slim, maybe due to EHD.  Thirty less deer were taken during hunting season in 2012 than in 2011 in our county.  There are a lot of avid hunters in our village if the deer heads we see through their windows are any indication, it's nice to see they didn't get them all.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Yesterday I straightened up my craft room.  Purchases from vacation and some Christmas presents were just stacked any place I could find room for them.  Today everything is where it belongs and I've actually used my Cameo for a print and cut.  I've discovered a new digital artist, Alicia's Little Shop, which contains some really cute little girls to color.  This one grabbed my eye because I'm a big reader.  My coloring is a little ragged because I've been away from it so long.  It's been months since I've colored anything; I was off on a stamping and sponging tangent.  That old adage is really true:  use it or lose it.

If I had this card to make over I would not add the punched hearts on the die cut but otherwise, I'm pleased with it.
The copics I used were:  B91, B93, B95; G21, G20; E25, E55, E31, B0000; Y02, Y08, Y11, Y19; C3, C1, C7, C5; E0000, E000, E93, E00; the sentiment is from PTI's All Booked Up, the paper is MME and the opening is Spellbinder's Labels Seven.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sassy takes over the family room...

Sunday - 12:02 pm - Day 10 - after being trapped in our family room with Sassy for most of 10 days, I've left her to return to my craft room on the top floor.  Carl checks on her every once in a while - he just has to lean around the corner because his office is on the same floor.  I have to traverse two levels to see her.  On my last visit, I noticed she had peed in the litter box with no 'hand' or 'paw' holding.  

Sunday - 7:46 am - Day 10 - Sassy's appetite has returned.  This morning she not only ate a tablespoon of Fancy Feast but she was dancing in place waiting for me to set it down.  I shake her dry food flat so I can tell if she's eating it and she's eaten very little.  Nothing in the cat box from last night.  We believe the Prozac has dampened her appetite until she's not eating enough to get rid of any of it.

Saturday - 11:40 - we were packing up Christmas decorations in the family room and I noticed her 'running' into the bathroom.  A peak around the corner a few minutes later caught her in the box pooping.  We're not ready to give her the run of the house but we're encouraged.  This is the 9th day without an accident.

Saturday - 9:04 am - Sassy was doing the pee pee dance and being very vocal.  She ran over to the temporary door so I walked into the bathroom and called her.  She ran right in behind me and I gently closed the door, turned on the light and sat down on the toilet seat.  She promptly jumped into her litter box and proceeded to pee.  What a good girl.  I opened the door and she ran right out.  This is much like potty-training a 2 year old.

Saturday - still having trouble with elimination.  She hasn't used the litter box since early Friday morning.  She did eat a tablespoon of Blue Salmon this morning.  Until I call the vet, I won't be giving her any more Prozac so she's a little more peppy this morning.  I have things to do in the house so for the first time I will allow her out in the family room without a chaperone; I will check on her every half an hour or so.  Hope to talk to the vet's office Monday.

Thursday (7th day on Prozac) - Sassy slept almost all day yesterday.  It seems she only moved to change positions or sleeping spots.  She also didn't use her cat box at all after nine a.m.  This morning it was evident she had had a bout of diarrhea during the night but used her litter box.  And she managed to get it on her fur and the floor and the toilet seat.  So, we cleaned both her and the bathroom up.  Poor girl, every time we pick her up we are shoving a pill into her or turning her upside down and spraying her with water or locking her in the bathroom.  While I dried her off, she was purring but it could have been "I'm stressed, therefore I purr" instead of "I'm so relaxed I'm purring".  About ten minutes after I put her down on the floor she was doing the freak-out thing again, digging in her chair and yowling so I picked her up and put her in the bathroom for twenty minutes and sure enough, she had another go at the runny stuff and sure enough, she got it on her (the hazards of having so much fur).  We cleaned her up once again and she's now settled down in my chair while I wash towels.  We plan to trim the fur around her rear this afternoon, certainly not looking forward to that although we have clippers and it shouldn't take long.  I continue to wake up at three or four in the morning wondering if today is the breakthrough day.

Wednesday - Sassy went into the bathroom last night around ten pm and was out this morning by six.  She had peed in the litter box but there was no solid waste.  She was in the habit of eliminating solid waste before 9:00 am on the waterproof pad in the living room so we keep a close watch on her early in the morning.  Nothing yet and she's sleeping in Carl's chair.  I did some research about Kitty Prozac again this morning to check for side effects.  The ones I found that applied to her so far are:  excessive vocalization, lethargy, a bit of aggression (she acts like she wants to bite us when we pick her up but she actually hasn't hurt us), gastrointestinal upset (we quit feeding her wet food because for a while she was throwing it up), and lack of appetite (she isn't inhaling her treats as she used to do.  I also discovered that all the sites I visited said it will take from 14 to 30 days to notice an improvement in whatever symptoms the prozac was given for.  Since this is just our 6th day, we have a ways to go.  The trouble with kitty prison is one of us has to be in prison with her.

Tuesday - This is our 5th day of confining Sassy.  Except for a short time in the cage, she has mostly been free in the family room during the day and locked in the bathroom at night.  Yesterday while we went shopping, we put her in the cage and found her sleeping in the cat box when we got back.  Nobody wants to hold a stinky kitty so we haven't put her back in the cage (her plan, no doubt).

She hasn't tried to get out of the family room for several days now.  Today is January 1st and this morning she got a little fruity.  She got up on her chair and dug into the cushion frantically (good thing she doesn't have claws), she ran to the "door" and cried loudly, back to her chair, down the hall and back to the door, she looked distressed and it suddenly occurred to me she was trying to get to the rug/boxes in the living room.  I scooped her up and locked her in her bathroom for half an hour and sure enough, when I opened the door, she had pooped in her litter box.  We were worried for a couple of days because we hadn't seen any evidence of peeing in her litter box, but this morning we had lots of liquid so maybe she held it for a day.  Today is the first day she hadn't pooped before we opened the door in the morning.  We usually get up about six, give or take, grab her for her pill and then give her a treat - wet food or cat treats, sometimes tuna.  We want the pill experience (which she really hates) to be associated with something good.  By the time we open the door, she's already got solid waste in the box.  This morning she didn't.  It's the first time she actually had to go while she was free.  It's encouraging that she didn't find a corner to squat in before I knew what she was doing.  That's why it's so important someone watch her all the time.  My card-making is certainly suffering.  And Carl babysits while I cook or clean (not doing a lot of that).

I'm waiting for the day she will just walk into the bathroom and do her job without a fuss.  When she's done that for a few weeks, we will let her into part of the rest of the house with supervision.  And when we're sure she's going to be good, we'll let her go.

In the meantime, she seems to be taking prison well. (Hard time in the big house.)

The only difference I've noticed is she seems to sleep a lot more and is way more vocal than she used to be, she's very loud and 'talks' more.  She even 'talks' in her sleep which is way weird, I've never heard that before.

Ten days in lock up....

Sassy has been a prisoner of the family room, laundry room and bathroom for ten days now with no accidents.  She has the run of the two rooms all day but is locked up in the laundry room/bathroom over night.  For the first nine days one of us watched her almost all the time she was free.  If we had errands to run (we're shopping for the guest room remodel now), she went back into the bathroom.  She doesn't protest spending time locked up.  For a few days she ran to the temporary door every time we opened it, but now she rarely opens her eyes when we come and go.  She has taken up residence on my chair and will only give it up under protest.

As you can see from the picture above, she isn't really stressed.  We play with her in the early morning after we let her out and before we put her to bed.  She likes to chase the red dot and play with the flannel string on a stick.

Today, for the first time, we've left her out alone.  We peek in on her now and then but she's mostly sleeping.  I'm up in my craft room and Carl is working on photographs to submit for exhibitions.  I should have a new card on my blog tomorrow.

I actually have a small tip for you today - something I discovered that probably everyone in the world knows about.  I was cleaning my food processor and couldn't get my dishrag into some tiny nooks and crannies.  I remembered that I had just changed my toothbrush yesterday and had thrown the old one in the cabinet under the sink (they work good for spattering).  I went up and grabbed it and used it to get into those tiny areas that I couldn't reach - worked like a charm.

New card tomorrow and the results of our first guest room material shopping trip.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sassy does drugs...

Sassy took a turn for the worst this month.  She actually started peeing on the waterproof pad - good news is it is easily cleaned up, bad news is it's a really bad habit to be forming.  When she did it the second time right in front of my husband, we decided to take the next step.  We had planned to lock her in my craft room but decided on her cage instead.

Carl got her cage out of the attic and we set it up inside the slider to the deck.  We added her litter box, blanket and food and locked her up.

This is where we found her in August so she's come full circle.  We added bird seed to the saucer outside her window so she can watch the birds.  She actually took this very well for a day or two but then started to go a little crazy.  First, she dug all the litter out of her box and scattered it all over the dining room and her cage.  In order to clean it up, I stored her in the laundry room/bathroom.  The thought occurred to me that it would be a better place to put her so we moved a litter box into the bathroom, gave her a blanket and food and put her there at night.

By the third day she was completely crazy in the cage so we moved her to the bathroom full time.  But that made me guilty even though she doesn't protest at going into the bathroom.  The idea here is to retrain her to use the litter box by putting her in an area so small that the only logical place to go is the litter box.  We started this experiment on Friday, December 28th.

Sunday, the 30th we reorganized the family room so she could spend time there.  We lined the railing with Christmas boxes and Carl made a door of sorts for the stairway.  Since we've had her in August we had been unable to coax her to jump from the back of the couch to the dining room floor.  It's only about 10 inches but she seemed unable to do it until we made the door.  She learned really fast how to get into the dining room so we brought in all the boxes from the Christmas decorations and stacked them.  We stuffed towels in the open spots between boxes and after several attempts to break through she seems to have given up.

The chair with the gold cushion is one my husband rescued from a hotel that was closing and it was in our bedroom.  I moved it downstairs so the cat could use it instead of my chair.  And she did until we started to lock her up and now she's punishing me by not using it.

So, this is where she spends her days.  You can see I've moved my computer from my craft room which is why my blog goes mostly unattended, I've been babysitting.  She goes into the bathroom at night and comes out in the morning.  In addition to kitty prison, she's been taking Kitty Prozac, 1/2 a tablet every morning since December 28th.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Experiments in litter...

Our October and November was spent trying to determine just what the magical mixture of litter and boxes was the right one. 

Our course of action:

1.  Leave these boxes in place for several weeks and monitor closely.
2.  If that doesn't work, we'll start Kitty Prozac and continue #1 for several weeks.
3.  If that doesn't work, we'll continue the Prozac and lock her in my craft room with her food and cat box.  I spend a lot of time in there and she has a shelf next to the window.
4.  If that doesn't work, we're at a loss.

During this period, the longest she went without using a pad as a litter box was 17 days.  Then she went back to using the pad, often so close to the litter box she had to be touching it.  The good news was she always used the pad so we didn't have messes to clean up, just clean off the pad and pop it in the washer.  By this time she wasn't using any part of the family room so we removed all the pads from the furniture there and had extras to put down.  She would go several days in the box and then not in the box.  No rhyme or reason.

We removed the corn litter because after the first day, she never stepped into it again.  She also only used the sand once or twice, so we changed the sand litter to Cat Attract.  Any port in a storm, right?  Although this litter gets good reviews, Sassy doesn't seem to like it any better than the regular old Arm and Hammer we've been using.  We did purchase another x-large litter box for the Cat Attract which comes in 40 pound bags.  The x-large box is quite a good size but she always leaves her deposits against the edge.  Solid or liquid, it doesn't matter, always right against the edge.  So, we thought maybe she doesn't like the boundary.  We used an old round saucer for putting under a  Christmas tree with a one inch border and added some litter.  She liked it for a few days and then never used it again so we removed it.  Another quirk of her is hardly ever covering anything up.  Once in a great while, but mostly she doesn't.  I don't know what that means.

Look at that face - don't you just love that face?  She has a slight problem with tearing, especially her left eye, but that seems to be normal with Persian types.  We wipe her face and eyes daily but it's hard to keep up with; the little bit of black on the left side is some kind of grit that the tearing leaves.  When you see her in person, she looks like she has an underbite.  As if her jaw juts out giving her an attitude.

She's just discovered a new place to sleep - my big yellow corduroy chair in the family room.  Ironic since she used this chair as her first inappropriate potty place and I had to have the cushion cleaned three times.  We removed the cushion and put down a waterproof pad under the cushion, over the arms and up the back.  If she uses it again, it will just be the cushion we need to have cleaned, not the chair itself.  I think that she won't use it again because she's sleeping there.  I will give that a few more weeks and remove the water proof pad.  We had already removed the pads on my husband's chair and the couch.   My fingers are crossed that we can solve this problem.  I can't imagine not being able to give her belly rubs.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sassy travels....

Sassy took the trip to Wisconsin well.  She was uncomfortable for the first hour but after that slept most of the way.  The cage was big enough to include her cat box, a blanket to sleep on, her cubby, and her food and water on a shelf over the cat box.  While we were in Wisconsin at the Sunrise Lodge, her cat box was behind the door in our cabin and there wasn't a single accident.  On the way back, she curled up in the cubby and slept all the way back to Sparland.  This was such a good sign because we always took our last cat to Sunrise and this meant we could take Sassy, too.

When we got home, she suddenly had the urge to use the rug in front of the television in the living room as a litter box.  The good news was she quit using the family room and just moved up a level.  I immediately ordered 3 large waterproof pads (the kind you use on a bed) and 3 small ones from Amazon.  Pet pads are pretty expensive compared to the ones I ordered.  We put the large pads on the furniture in the family room - the couch, Carl's chair and my chair.  We put three of the smaller ones on top of the rug, purchased one x-large litter box and and two disposable boxes and arranged the three in a row.  From the left:

Box number 1: disposable with high sides and a corn litter in it.  This litter has a high fragrance and it's the litter my husband likes the best - no dust, clumps really well and the only odor is the litter, but my husband isn't the one I'm trying to retrain..  It's a little more expensive and our last cat used it with no problems.

Box Number 2:  disposable box with a sand litter in it.  Very fine, very dusty, very cheap, it's the one my husband likes the least.

Box Number 3:  extra large plastic box with her usual Arm and Hammer no fragrance clumping litter in it and fairly low sides.

In order to tell which box she's been in, we smoothed the litter in all three boxes.  I hadn't finished smoothing Box Number 3 before she was peeing in it.  A good sign to be sure.

The next morning (Tuesday morning), I checked the boxes.  All three had paw prints in them so she had at least been in them.  Box Number 1 was empty, just paw prints.  Box Number 2 had a small amount of poop in it (when she poops on the waterproof pad she poops big).  Box Number 3 had several clumps of pee in it.  We're going to keep all three boxes in place, checking, cleaning and smoothing them three times a day for a couple of weeks.  Having three cat boxes in our living room isn't a solution I like but if we can't alter her bathroom habits, the alternative isn't looking good.  Carl is very tender-hearted and would hate to see her go back to the shelter but he also doesn't want our entire house smelling like a cat box.  I'm a little more understanding - I know where she's been emotionally and I'm willing to clean up messes until we solve this problem.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sassy comes home...

We were due to leave on vacation August 6th and in the middle of packing, I called the ARK and asked if there was any way they could hold her until we returned from vacation around the 27th.  I was told that wasn't possible.  They weren't a boarding facility and if someone came in to adopt her, they needed the space too badly to refuse.  So, I thought about that for a day and the next day called and said I wanted to adopt her but we had to pick her up before the 6th.  The ARK had just taken a van full of cats to the vet for treatment and it was possible she could get the fluffy cat which they called Sundae in when she picked up the others.  We were to be at the ARK the next day at 11:00 am to pick her up.  The next day we discovered that they had been unable to get her to the vet but if we were to drive her to the ARK's vet and be there by noon which we did, we could take her home after the vet visit.  Her examination consisted of a chip, shots and spaying which is where we got lucky because she had already been spayed and her front claws had been removed (I would never have this done to a cat, but was relieved it had been done already).

So on August 2nd, we took her to her new home with a new name, Sassy, and gained a new vet in the deal.  The Wyoming Veterinary Service is filled with caring vets.  At the Chillicothe Veterinary Clinic they always took our cat into the back room to do whatever they did to her.  Frequently we could hear her howl.  In Wyoming, they do everything right in front of you.  They encourage you to keep contact with your pet to help alleviate their fears.  I am totally in love with the way they have worked with Sassy.

Our nightmare with her started right away.  On August 3rd I came down to the family room with my cup of coffee, sat down and immediately smelled something bad.  I got up and walked around the family room but didn't see anything.  I ultimately discovered she had pooped in my chair and I sat in it.  Luckily (???) it was pretty solid and stuck to my robe so I was able to wash everything including the chair cushion.  On August 4th she did it again so we had to take the cushion to the cleaner and once more on August 5th.  By this time we had accumulated a collection of cleaning supplies from PetSmart.  On the 6th we left her with our sitter and headed to Washington and Oregon for three weeks.  I had been uncomfortable with leaving her so soon after adopting her but that was the way things worked out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

R.I.P., Psycho...

The day after our anniversary and after a very short illness we lost our beloved Himalayan cat.  She had been gifted to us by Carl's father after the death of Carl's mother.  Carl's father, Wendell, wasn't a cat lover which was strange because he was married to one for over 60 years.  Her cat had been subject to psychological abuse over the years but gave almost as good as she got.  She would climb on top of the refrigerator and play with the hands on the clock so it was always the wrong time.  She would knock all the pill bottles off of the dresser.  She would stick her paw into flower vases and pull them over.  I tend to think this was payback.  When Carl and I would visit, I would put my hand down between the couch cushion and the side of the couch and wiggle my fingers.  It would drive her crazy.  She had few toys (other than the clock and the pill bottles) but wasn't allowed to play with me, it was requested that I stop "tormenting the cat".  When Dorothy died it was either come home with us or go to California.  We were easier.

She spent her first week with us under the entertainment center.  She knew where her litter box was and used it, mostly when we weren't looking.  She was eating but wasn't friendly.  It was weeks before she would approach us and until the end of her life she hated everyone else.  My daughter would just point at her and she would hiss.  She actually had hissing contests with our friend Charla.  We were never sure if she actually knew what the hissing meant but she really was an expert at it.

We had her for a little over seven years.  She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and went down hill very quickly.  We credit the vet we were using with hastening her death and we were very frustrated with their care of her.  We should have changed vets when the only time we boarded her we discovered her in a tiny cage that was so small her tail had to be in her cat box.  She was terrified when we picked her up.  We solved that problem by finding a wonderful sitter in our neighborhood so she never had to be boarded again.  When it was discovered that she had kidney disease as well as the thyroid problem we were given a syringe, some critical care cat food and were sent home to cope as best we could.  Ultimately, I couldn't get enough food and liquid in her to save her life and rather than see her suffer we had her put to sleep.  I'm still very sad and very angry over the whole affair.  We buried her in the back yard under the cat mint and my friend Ruthann had a rock engraved for her which we placed on top of her grave.

We decided not to get another pet because we like to travel and it would be so much easier to just pick up and go when you don't have pets to consider.  After a week we were able to pack up her toys and all the foods we purchased to tempt her appetite along with her grooming supplies and litter and moved the box to the garage.  Our contractor has a flock of cats so we gifted him with our platform and window seat.  A week later we loaded up all the pet supplies and drove over to our local No Kill Shelter in Lacon, IL.  Silly me, I heard the cats on the second floor and my heart just tugged me that way.  At the top of the stairs in the second cage I looked at was a fluffy cat with the oddest face just sitting and watching me.  Cats were screeching and pacing and sticking paws out of their cages to urge me to pet them but this cat just sat.

We walked all around the many rooms filled with old cats, young cats, fat cats, thin cats, vocal cats and sleeping cats and always I came back to the one that just sat.

Over the next week I thought about that cat all the time.