Friday, August 30, 2013

Lost my mind temporarily last night

I've been on a coloring streak the last week.  We're on our way to Wisconsin tomorrow and I've packed up some supplies to take with.  If you had a whole week to craft what would you take with you?  I'm taking:  cut base paper, a small Art Bin full of 6x6 and 4x6 designer paper, a box of Flourish stamps (to practice shading), a stack of printed digitals to color, my Copic bag, copics and refills, my PrismaColor pencils, gamsol and nibs, some fussy cut scissors, card envelopes and jackets, my ATG gun and some double sticky tape, my nib sharpener, VersaFine Black Onyx and Memento Tuxedo Black stamp pads, one sponge, and my baby wipes.  I will also visit a stamping store in Saynor, Wisconsin that's going out of business, everything is 50% off.  I'm truly sorry to see this particular store close, it's an amazingly eclectic store with a fabulous designer/owner; I'm always so inspired when I visit it.

I pulled out some older Kenny K images so play with, I so love his early work, not so much his later stuff.  His selection of girls with attitude are fun to color, this one is called Brooklyn Babe and she was colored with Copics and Prismacolor pencils.

Now, the losing my mind portion of this broadcast:  I fixed supper last night for my husband and myself.  We ate dinner while watching the local news (30 minutes) and the national news (30 minutes) and while cleaning up the dishes my husband hollered from the kitchen "Can I turn the oven off?"  OMG - I put garlic bread in the oven just before I dished up our meal 65+ minutes ago.  I have never never done that before.  I just forgot to take it out of the oven.  Crispy?  You bet.  Black? You bet.  Carl actually thought it was funny, I was horrified.

I have an order of 20 table centerpieces going out today and a meeting on trivia cards for a class reunion, packing to do, and cleaning to do (God forbid, someone should come over here and my house is dirty).  And, I don't know about you, but my hummingbirds are eating me out of house and home.  I now have a 32 ounce feeder up in addition to the nine ounce feeder I usually put up.  One is in the crab apple right outside my craft room so I can see the little buggers fight over the big one.  They're on their way to South America and need to stock up on calories.  Hope you have lots of hummers where you are today.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bad Sassy....

Sassy did a naughty thing on the spare bed on the 27th.  Luckily, we've had it covered with waterproof pads so there's no damage, I simply cleaned up the mess and washed the cover while keeping the door closed until the pad was replaced.  Of course, we don't know what started that behavior, she's been good since we got back from vacation the first week of July.  This morning, we found another mess on the bed.  We talked about closing the door, but I'm afraid she'll just find someplace else to go, so we'll leave the door open after we clean and replace the pad.  We don't know if it's because we're getting ready to leave.  She can't be oblivious to the growing pile of stuff in the living room (that's how we start packing a week before we leave - we just add to the pile).  I once had a cat that would see the cat carrier and climb into the cold air duct because he knew the only reason the carrier was out was a vet trip.  Animals are so much smarter than people usually give them credit for.  If Sassy is suffering separation anxiety, perhaps drugs might be a good idea for a couple of weeks before we leave to a couple of weeks after we get back.  I really wouldn't want to go through that process again, she hates those pills.

The sitter knows if she pulls that crap (no pun intended) while we're gone, she gets locked up in the living room.  She'll have a window and a litter box and lots of room to play but she can't get to any furniture except the old chair and I've never seen her in it.  Carl suggested perhaps she's stressed now that Sadie is chasing her.  Roles have been reversed, Sadie now watches Sassy, but we've seen both of them in the front when they start running, so we're not sure who is chasing who.  We're not hearing the screeching from Sadie like we used to but we've also lost that friendliness she had when we first brought her home and she would come running so we could pet her.  She's much more aggressive now.  Sassy has even been known to 'nip' me lately; she never breaks the skin, just lets me know that she does not appreciate the attention.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Off to Wisconsin...

Drinking coffee in the family room this morning, I heard a stampede of buffalo coming down the stairs from the top level, around the corner and down the stairs into the family room, two cats paused for breath and took off around the corner and down the stairs into the 'man cave'.  Minutes later, the stampede came up the stairs and both cats headed toward me, around my footstool and Sassy stretched out on the hearth while Sadie just plopped down for a rest.  No aggression (that we could see) just good clean chasing fun.  And they take turns chasing each other.  Sadie was still not happy with us - she growled when I tried to pet her.  And that's ok.  If she warns us before she attacks we know to back off.

We have decided to leave both cats when we go to Wisconsin.  Sadie is consistently taking her pill and we haven't heard any screaming from her (angry screaming, I mean) for over a week.  She stretched out in my craft room last night for a couple of hours while Sassy spent time with Carl.  And this morning, Sassy had her green glitter ball at the bottom of the stairs and was calling me - stupid me, I went down and she ran away, so I chased her for a bit.  Perhaps she's exercising ME.  I'm spending a lot less time monitoring them and a lot more time doing other things now.

Carl installed a screen door on our bedroom and stored the regular door in the garage.  We've had the gate up blocking the entrance but since it has to be totally removed when you go into the bedroom, it's hard to carry laundry in.  So, Carl bought a cheap screen door and now we can just turn the knob and walk in.  The gate has been removed to the living room and if problems arise while we're gone, Tiffany will lock Sassy up in the living room.  That way she can't show her displeasure by doing something nasty on the spare bed or my chair.  And Sadie can still have her window. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Detante (maybe)

It's nap time here.  Both cats are in the family room, Sadie in her window behind the drapes and Sassy by the fireplace.  Sassy hasn't used her carrier to sleep in since her vet visit.  We violated that space, it has always been her 'safe' place, no one was allowed to touch her in it.  The day of our vet visit, she was asleep in it and Carl just zipped it up.  Perhaps she'll forgive the carrier in time and curl up for a nap in it.  She's taken over the sewing machine cabinet in the spare bedroom, she sleeps there most of the time.  Sadie loves the family room window, it is her own now.  Last night she was on Carl's chair just before dinner.  Picking her up isn't a task either of us enjoy and someone had to move her before Carl could sit down to eat.  I was all for drawing straws or maybe a rousing game of rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock.  He finally mustered up his courage and picked her up even though she screeched at him.

And this morning she was playing with the flannel strip on the floor next to my chair when she suddenly started screeching.  It sounded like someone was pulling her intestines out, both of us jumped up, but she just kept playing with the flannel strip like nothing was happening.

Sassy, had her green glitter ball at the bottom of the steps to the top level and was just meowing her head off.  So, I go to see what's up with her (she has me really well trained) and she runs away.  I go back upstairs and five minutes later it starts all over again.  Sassy wants to play and that's all there is to it.  So, I chase her for a bit, put in a load of laundry, chase her a little bit and clean the kitchen and chase her a little bit until she settles down for a nap.

This video was early this morning in my craft room.  That's a box of DVD covers.  I'm transferring our VHS tapes to DVD and I use these covers for them when I'm finished.  I just opened this box last night and Sadie found it this morning.  Boxes must be great fun.

From this window - 8/25/13

There is evidence that winter is close upon us.  The River Birch on the south side of the house is dropping leaves, the sumac is turning orange, the birds are quiet, the hummingbirds are drinking sugar water like it's the last bottle left in the world, the sun is coming up on the right side of the window now instead of the left, the grass is starting to crackle as we walk and the apples are falling from the trees.  We are looking over the list for our trip to Wisconsin which always falls the Saturday before Labor Day to the Saturday after Labor Day.  Early fall in the Northwoods - can't beat that.

This summer just screamed by.  We were busy with a vacation, new gardens, new cat (and that's a whole other story), and crafting.  Carl added gutter guards, his days of cleaning gutters hopefully finished.   We have another flower bed to transplant but it may wait until spring now if weather conditions don't improve after we get home from Wisconsin.  The plants need enough good weather to establish roots before it gets cold, not 90 degree weather, either.  We've had weird weather this year - a week of beautiful 70s and then 90s and then 70s and then 90s.  Not conducive to transplanting.  I was just out at the new bed - yeah, weeds are at a minimum, so few I didn't even bother to pull them, I'll wait for a cool morning.  The peony I was worried about is hanging on by a thread.  It's a pink and white beauty with a fabulous fragrance, I would be sorry to loose it.  Peonies should be transplanted in the fall, but it was holding up progress so was done early.  Everything else we transplanted is either doing well or doing really well.  Some things like the new bed better than the old one.  The first raised bed has lots of weed - that horrible vine I've been fighting since the dirt was hauled in is rampant again.  No matter how often I pull it or spray it, it refuses to die.  And it hides inside plants until it really gets a hold.  I imagine a huge root lies under the bed sending up shoots the whole length of the bed.  The first cool day I need to spray and pull again.  Other than the weeds that bed is also doing well.  The rose we transplanted was doing really good until the Japanese Beetles discovered the yellow flowers.  I sprayed them every day.  Since our beds are created for butterflies we can't blanket spray, so I have a small spray bottle with bug killer that hangs from the fence next to the rose, I hit it with a shot when I see the beetles while avoiding the plants next to it. 

Carl found a new platform feeder at a garage sale and we installed it on the honeysuckle fence for the winter.  We have six feeders on the south side that we use from early spring to late summer.  But in the winter I like the feeder on the north side so I can see the birds while I craft.  In the early spring we take it down because it's next to the bluebird box and we don't want anything to interfere with our bluebirds.  The birds seem to know where the food is. 

Some people are sad about winter coming but gardeners know that winter is a time of renewal and rest, something every living thing in the world needs, especially gardeners.  I'll start planning changes to our gardens in November, ordering seeds in December and I'll have a full game plan by February.  Early March, the greenhouse will go up and I'll start planting seeds.  So, although gardening is a full time hobby, some of the work is cerebral instead of physical.  I have to admit I love pouring over new seed catalogs even though I'm worn out and semi-sick of gardening by the time they arrive.  Which proves that gardeners may be just a tad crazy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chasing the ant...

Every once in a while we get a large black ant in the house.  We don't know where they're coming from but this morning the cats found one and they were a 12" ceramic tile apart watching the ant until Sadie got tired of watching and walked away.  Sassy stayed with the ant until it made a run for the grandfather clock and Carl took it out of it's misery.  Later this morning, Sassy was laying in Carl's chair and Sadie jumped out of the window to the back of Carl's chair, down to the arm, hissed a little hiss at Sassy, jumped to the floor and walked away.  Sassy watched her but didn't chase her.  Last night there was some action but we honestly think they were playing - or attempting to play.  If that's true, they'll need to teach themselves how.

Sadie gobbled up her pill again this morning.  She's eating a lot more food in the morning than she does at the evening feeding.  We may just do away with the evening meal altogether.  I've been attempting to groom Sadie, brushing her lightly every time I catch her sleeping.  She's getting more amenable to it but still only allows me a few minutes.  I keep forgetting that all these things are new to Sadie.  Her fur is getting glossier but she's still got the dandruff problem.  The internet said brushing will break it up so I've been sneaking that in.  It's easy to catch Sassy and brush her for ten minutes, she's used to it now and just purrs.  I even managed to use the electric razor on the backs of her legs under her tail yesterday by myself.  It gets messy and there's so much fur to clean up, it's easier on us all if I keep that short.  She didn't mind at all.  I can't imagine how Sadie would react, I'm guessing I'd need Neosporin.

I think based on the last few days we will leave both cats for Tiffany and the kids.  We will cut the canned food down to breakfast.

Edited at 1:48 PM - SADIE IS PURRING!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day three, we might be home free....

It's 7:46 a.m. and all is quiet.  We were up at 5:00 a.m. and usually my husband starts breakfast for the girls.  Sadie gets 1/3 of a large can of Friskies (any flavor as long as it's Pate), if it's been in the fridge, it's nuked for seven seconds to take the chill off, it's mashed and mounded like a volcano, the #3 gel capsule is placed horizontally on the top and gently pressed into the food, making the first bite the one with the capsule.  Day three and this is still working.  I had moved Sadie's food into the dining room across from Sassy's but that didn't work out well.  Sassy just licks up the gravy and then she's intimidating Sadie again.  Sadie eats more slowly and won't eat at all if Sassy is too close to her - so Sadie is again eating in the dining room and licked her bowl clean in record time this morning.  Yeah pill!

Between 5:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. there was some chasing, some growling but we saw something we hadn't seen before.  Sadie came running down the stairs into the family room and headed toward the spare bedroom with Sassy right on her heels.  I picked up the squirt bottle (the one you have to pump several times before water comes out) and the noise of squeezing the handle diverted Sassy into the basement.  Sadie turned around and chased Sassy down the stairs.  Play?  Aggression?  It is to ponder.  A few minutes later and Sassy is in the spare bedroom in the window sound asleep (it would take a bomb to wake her up) and Sadie is in the family room window (a feather drop would wake her up) and all is quiet.  Now is the time to get in some sweet talking and stroking for Sadie without claws.

I called our vet today to tell her about the gel capsules which I purchased from for $3.00/a hundred but $8.00 shipping (really?). has them for about $22.00/a 1000 including shipping.  So, if you need them long term (and we may), I suggest purchasing them from Amazon.  I'm off to tell Sadie what a good girl she is and run my hand down that silky body.

Rant, rant, rant...

Am I the only person that knows if you announce something like "visit our website for a chance at a date with Justin Bieber" you better have the servers to back up the traffic?  We recently received a letter from MediaCom, our internet and cable provider, telling us that the cable company was going digital September 1st and if you didn't have this thinga-ma-bob on your analog TV, it wouldn't be able to pick up signals after that date.  OK, everyone panic now.  AND they were surprised at the computer traffic on their website, it was actually down for three days.  And when you called, you got a recording telling you to check out that website.  Oh, yeah!  I'm feeling like Dish TV.  I was reminded of this when Good Morning America revealed a great deal at and all my Facebook groups were complaining they couldn't get on the Cool Gear website (it's a great place to buy items to vinyl).  So....companies, listen up!  If you announce a great deal, please have the people available to support your great deal or it turns out to be a crappy deal for those who can't get in and earns you some really bad press.

First a rant....then a card

Am I the only person that knows if you announce something like "visit our website for a chance at a date with Justin Bieber" you better have the servers to back up the traffic?  We recently received a letter from MediaCom, our internet and cable provider, telling us that the cable company was going digital September 1st and if you didn't have this thinga-ma-bob on your analog TV, it wouldn't be able to pick up signals after that date.  OK, everyone panic now.  AND they were surprised at the computer traffic on their website, it was actually down for three days.  And when you called, you got a recording telling you to check out that website.  Oh, yeah!  I'm feeling like Dish TV.  I was reminded of this when Good Morning America revealed a great deal at and all my Facebook groups were complaining they couldn't get on the Cool Gear website (it's a great place to buy items to vinyl).  So....companies, listen up!  If you announce a great deal, please have the people available to support your great deal or it turns out to be a crappy deal for those who can't get in and earns you some really bad press.

On to my card.  I pulled out some never before used Spellbinder dies.  I'm a huge fan of Spellbinder but I get so frustrated when using them on light colored card stock like this card.  The panels were cut from Beckett Candlelight 120# card stock which is my favorite base for cards.  The die left part of the coating on all the cut surfaces and it's terribly hard to remove.  I use an eraser which can damage delicate edges and still when layered, you can clearly see the paint chips or whatever the heck that discoloration is.  It's one of the reasons I really like Memory Box dies - no residue, but they don't have the large layered patterns I really like from Spellbinders.  The best of both worlds would be if Spellbinder could make their dies out of the same material that Memory Box uses.  I can't believe I am the only person in the world that has complained about this.  This card is 3 panels of Radiant Rectangles, CC Designs Leafy Branch, Tim Holtz's small easel (this card doesn't open, it's just a flat card with an easel on the back), Memory Box Butterfly Delights, Prima Flowers and three PTI Mixed Messages.  I included three messages with a snot dot on the back of each so the person who buys this card can decide what they want to use it for: birthday, thank you or get well.  Since the Prima flowers were so tall, I designed a box to put it in and decorated the outside of the box with a strip of pretty paper and some gold elastic cord that I pick up cheap after Christmas at Michaels.  I sponged a little bit around the top panel before I removed it from the die, it adds such an elegant touch and I love the pink and green combination, such a fresh look.  I matched the box to the butterflies and greetings for a coordinated look.  If this sells well, I will make more of these, doesn't this just scream "Grandma"?  I also made some cards with Lori Whitlocks square envelope box that I will post later.

We're getting ready to go to Wisconsin for a week where I will be holed up in a cabin on the lake practicing my coloring with Copics and Prismacolor pencils - no cooking or cleaning, just coloring.  I plan to print a bunch of cards to take with me, perhaps my Halloween and Christmas cards.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Holding my breath....

Pill time for Sadie this morning was a breeze again.  The key is to mound the food, place the capsule on top and gently press it into the food.  I can see the capsule, it isn't buried but it's in a position to be eaten in the first several bites when she's really hungry.  She cleaned her bowl and since I just gave her a large tablespoon, when she finished, I gave her another tablespoon which she ate most of.  We have also been picking up supper after about an hour - if she doesn't eat it, she'll be hungrier in the morning.

Last night we attended a picnic with a camera club group (the first meeting of the new season is always a potluck picnic) and I was talking about the war at home.  My cat sitter and I had a conversation day before yesterday that went like this:  Me:  I've heard some people say if they had it to do over again, they'd have pets instead of children.  We're thinking we would rather have children than pets.  Cat sitter:  I've had both and if I had it to do over again, I'd adopt a highway.  Someone at the picnic over-heard me telling a friend about this conversation and said her vet suggested Compose treats for her sister and brother cats who fought all the time.  In all my investigation about cat aggression, I'd not run across those, so I checked it out this morning.  Apparently, it's a non-prescription calming treat that's $9.99/bag of thirty on Amazon.  For all the money we've spent on different kinds of food, vet bills and Feliway, $9.99 is a drop in the bucket, so I've ordered a bag that will be here on Friday.  Since Sadie is already on the Prozac, I'll feed the treats to Sassy who actually tried to nip me this morning when I picked her up to rub her belly.  We've never been sure who actually instigates the arguments - we see Sassy chase Sadie but not attack her - playing?  Aggression?  I don't know.  I know that when Sadie sits on the arm of Carl's chair with her tail hanging down, Sassy wants to play with her tail.  I know that both of the cats love to play.  When I do laundry, I sit in the family room next to the laundry room and watch TV until the rinse cycle so I can add Downy Fabric Softener (I don't like the sheets).  As soon as I sit down, both cats are close to my chair waiting for the flannel strip to start moving.  Same thing in the living room if I sit down to watch something, they wait for the green fuzzy thing to start moving.  It's the only time I can get them in the same room without hissing and growling (most of the time).

Sadie was up in my craft room this morning laying next to my chair and was up for a little petting.  I even picked her up for a couple of minutes before she wanted down.  Picking up Sadie is a little like picking up a bag of snakes, she's all writhing muscles.  Still no decision about Wisconsin.  I wanted to wait until the Compose showed up to see if that would work.  If it does, and if Sassy will take it more than once, we will leave them here to the tender mercies of Tiffany and her children.  If we do, we might request a once a day visit - breakfast.  Now that the litter boxes are being used regularly and I'm only cleaning them out once a day, perhaps wet food just once a day would work and make both cats hungry enough to eat with no problems.   Sadie's dandruff problem is getting better - less dandruff when I stroke her now but we're still squeezing the oil of one fish oil tablet into her food every day.  Our vet said Omega3 is wonderful for cats with dry skin and if that didn't work, she has something you actually rub into the skin that would help.  I'm not crazy about rubbing anything into Sadie's skin at this stage of the game, not sure Sadie would allow that yet without bloodletting.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pill, pill, who's got the pill

Sadie has completely given up on her wet food.  A sniff and then to Sassy's bowl.  Suddenly, I had an epiphany - I had purchased a bunch of size 3 gel caps from thriving when we were medicating Sassy.  The problem with giving Sassy a gel cap is she only licks the gravy, she doesn't actually eat the food.  Sadie, however, is a gulper, she eats mouthfuls.  So, this morning, I loaded a gel cap, opened a new can of Salmon pate (yum), made a mound and put the pill on the top and pushed it down just a little bit.  I waved it under Sadie's nose and she started eating, and eating, and eating until the pill was all gone.  If she can't smell it, she don't know it's there....  Today I win one.  Perhaps she'll never eat another one but I'm loading gel caps this morning.  Stay tuned....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Here we go again...

After two days of relative calm, Sassy and Sadie were at it again last night.  Carl had to separate them before going to bed, he locked Sassy in her hallway/bathroom/laundry room with food and water and let Sadie run free.  This morning Sadie was her old growling, hissy, attacking self while Sassy was staying away from Sadie as much as possible.  Sadie ate her breakfast (and her pill) but instead of grooming and taking a nap, she attacked the flannel strip and wanted to play.  Sassy curled up on the sewing machine in the spare bedroom and took a nap.

I'm just throwing a theory out but if the aggression was caused by Sassy last night, eight hours of separation should have calmed Sadie down.  Perhaps it was the stray again.  It's the one thing, other than Sassy, that can enrage Sadie and often keeps her angry all day.  Sassy was locked up so she didn't make Sadie angry.

Maybe we need to concentrate on the strays.  We know there is a male, a female and two kittens roaming around close to our property.  The trap is on the deck but we haven't set it yet.  I was hoping the medication would work.  Tonight might be the night to set the trap and rethink declawing Sadie.  She lunged at me this morning and I don't have any doubt if she had connected, I would be bleeding now.

We're noticing small changes in behavior the last few days.  Sadie has taken over Carl's chair, sitting on the arm when Carl is in it and laying in the seat when he's not.  She's not been spending time in my craft room which was where she napped pre-meds.  She's learned to escape the living room when locked up, something she never tried before, perhaps that came from living in a cage.  When we first brought Sadie home, she was starved for affection, she always came when called and couldn't wait for someone to pet her.  Now, we have to wait until she's asleep to touch her without worrying about being attacked.  Yesterday, I was hopeful, today, I'm not.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Practically Paradise.....

All is quiet downstairs.  I spent an hour playing with both of the cats using the flannel strip.  Sadie was in Carl's chair and Sassy was on the floor right in front of the chair so I could flip the strip to both of them, one after another.  Sadie is asleep now on the window seat behind Carl's chair and Sassy is in her carrier.  Sadie ate all of her breakfast (and her pill) this morning.  When Sadie is relaxing, we can actually pet her now (no purring) but no aggression.  When she's in play mode, it doesn't pay to get too close to her with skin, she doesn't know the difference between skin and the flannel strip.  There was a little hissing this morning but by the time I got there it was all over so I don't really know what happened.  I just put Sadie behind the gate again and stayed with her while she finished breakfast and then I let her out again.  I need Sadie to understand that her aggression has consequences and keeping her from her windows is one of them.  We are still keeping our bedroom off limits from the cats.  It's nice not to sleep in cat hair, especially since we have a black and white spread.  Sassy gets hair on the black and Sadie gets hair on the white.  

Perhaps the fight the other day was a wake up call for both of them.  Sassy doesn't seem so fixated on Sadie anymore, she can go off and do other things and leave Sadie to herself.  I don't see Sadie twitching her tail so much today, either.  We've gotten our hopes up before when tensions relax, so I'm not holding my breath.  I am saying the peace and quiet is nice.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

World War III

We had the biggest dust-up yesterday we've ever had.  We thought the stray had gotten into the house, Sadie was screaming, another cat was screaming and of course, we both rushed to see what was going on.  It was actually Sadie and Sassy (we've never heard Sassy do that before) under the dining room table going at each other.  I grabbed a spray bottle but Sadie chased Sassy into the family room and went at her again.  I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed and finally Sadie broke off to jump in the window and Sassy went to hide.  We thought, well, that was a long time coming and perhaps Sassy now has the message.  Just to be safe, we put up the barriers to the living room again and locked Sadie up.  She stayed in lock-up most of the day yesterday until Carl and I assembled in the family room for our usual 'local news, national news, John Colbert and Jon Stewart' when we let her out.  It was easy to watch the two of them and although Sadie never calmed down, she did lay on the arm of Carl's chair for a while as long as he didn't touch her.  When he went to bed last night, he locked Sadie up again.  This morning, he fed her a tablespoon of wet food with her pill in it and she ate about half.  I had planned to spend time with her so took my coffee and newspaper up to the living room but when I moved the gate, she ran out.  So, she's loose in the house with Sassy right behind her and she hasn't finished her breakfast.  I think for a while, we're going to have to remove her dry food to make sure she eats the wet food and takes her pill (we're not even contemplating giving her the pill by hand) and we're still at least two weeks away from knowing if the pills are going to work. 

I went shopping on Tuesday and we stocked up on litter boxes and scoopers - we now have five in the house.  Sassy makes the rounds and puts a drop or two in each one.  We spent a year getting her to use the litter box, now she wants to use them ALL.

As I write, all is quiet.  Sassy was in the family room window and Sadie was in the spare bedroom window.  Sadie has a love/hate relationship with the chipmunk that lives under our front stoop.  She will sit at the front door for hours waiting for a glimpse of the little guy.  We've had to chipmunk proof our little garden in the 'courtyard', they used to dig all the dirt out of my pots.  We actually put chicken wire down over the dirt with a space cut out for the plant, then added mulch on top of the wire.  They discover the wire and quit digging.  Of course, the wire rusts so has to be replaced every few years but that's a small inconvenience compared to having seeds planted in huge numbers in all my pots.  And the chipmunks are great fun for Sadie who probably never saw one before she came to live with us.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Who let the mountain lion loose?

The trip to the vet today was a disaster.  Sadie was asleep on the floor of my craft room when Carl came up with the pet carrier which has a large opening.  I just picked her up and put her inside, it was zipped up before she even knew what was happening.  Sassy was asleep in her carrier so Carl just zipped it up and away we went.  Both cats went into the back seat with a little vocalization but for the most part they were quiet.  We had an interview with Dr. McFarland because Sadie had not been there since we've had her (she did get chipped and spayed there through the ARK before we got her).  We explained about the aggression, how long we'd had her, about the claws and the bloodletting.  We took both carriers into the examining room (one of the many reasons I like this doctor, we're allowed inside during the exam) and Dr. McFarland decided to exam Sadie first.  We opened the carrier and Dr. McFarland reached inside and said later she knew Sadie would be impossible to handle when she felt Sadie tense up.  So she grabbed her by the scruff and tried to pull her out of the carrier.  Sadie let out a scream that you could probably hear a block away, a truly hair raising primal scream that scared me and she dug into the floor of the carrier with all four paws.  It took Dr. McFarland two hands just to hold Sadie without getting bit, get her out enough so that another assistant could give her the two shots - Sadie was shoved back into her box, the box was zipped and Sadie was weighed in it.  Needless to say, her ears were not cleaned nor her nails cut.  She growled at me when I tried to talk to her and lunged at me when I tried to pet her through the screen of the carrier.

When we got home, Sassy ate some treats and took a nap (but not in her carrier, how smart is she?)  We let Sadie go upstairs, she ran to the craft room and let me rub her ears for a bit.  I got her a bowl of water and some treats which she ate and she crawled under her shelf for a nap.  She slept all afternoon and hasn't eaten supper yet (supper is at 5:00ish every day).

Dr. McFarland prescribed Prozac which is good because Sadie has been getting it since August 4th.  The vet said it takes 30 days to take effect so we've still got some time left.  I have noticed that Sadie sleeps more during the day than she used to and Dr. McFarland said some people don't like that and they cut the 1/2 pill in half again.  We don't mind Sadie sleeping a little extra but she will get used to the Prozac in time like Sassy did and won't sleep as much.  I will be counting days until a month has passed to see if something changes.  We also found out that we could still have her declawed if we needed to.  They would rather do it when they're young, but Sadie is under the wire there.  We still won't have that done unless it's absolutely necessary.  And the fish oil capsule I've been squirting on her food once a day is just the thing for her dry skin.  I actually got that from the internet which the vet said has some good information if you know where to look.

It's such a good thing that we don't have to take Sadie back to the vet for a year.  But she didn't really have an exam so that worries me, but you can't have everything.  Carl brought Sadie's food up to my room so she hasn't been in the rest of the house since she got home.  I may try to pick her up later and see how she reacts.  She gave my hand a bath a little while ago so she's forgiven me, I'm not so sure about the vet, though.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's awfully quiet downstairs

The last two or three days have been fairly uneventful.  We've had the occasional meeting at the corners, hisses, small growl, moving on moments.  Sassy has taken over Carl's recliner but Sadie runs up the arm to the back to jump to the window seat behind the chair.  Sassy lays behind my footstool to watch Sadie play with the flannel strip only to jump on it herself if it comes near.  Sassy sniffed Sadie while they sat in the dining room door together only to back off as if the smell was 'yucky' as my husband quipped.  Sadie runs around the house like a whirling dervish, over the back of the couch, onto the recliner, over my footstool only to flop down on the family room floor.  Sadie spent most of yesterday afternoon in the craft room in her cubby while Sassy slept in her carrier.  We believe that each cat should have a place where they are never bothered, a safe place to retreat to for their peace of mind and ours.  Sassy has always had her carrier, now Sadie has a place under a shelf in my craft room.

Sassy is resuming behaviors she had pretty much stopped when Sadie showed up.  She's back to jumping into my tub and playing with the ping pong ball I keep there.  She also likes to hide between the tub and the shower curtain so she can attack my ankles.  She's back to going potty on command.  If I'm doing laundry and she comes into the bathroom, I can sit on the toilet lid and ask her if she has to potty.  She will climb into the box and go to the bathroom almost every time.  So, while Sassy is approaching normal, we don't really know what normal is for Sadie.  Sassy has started carrying one of her small fuzzy toys to the bottom of the stairs to the top level and crying.  When I come down, she runs so I can chase her.  I think she would really love to play with Sadie if we can make that happen.

Sadie is still aggressive, but not as much since we started the Prozac.  If you try to touch her and she growls, back off.  But when she's ready for affection, she will come to you.  She loves to have her head and the base of her tail rubbed.  She still isn't big on being picked up.  She still wants to sleep under my chair.  Her hair is growing back and except for a dandruff problem, she gets more beautiful everyday.

Tomorrow is vet day so I will have something to report tomorrow night.  We're going to talk about behavior, dandruff and claws.  Sassy is just getting shots, she's almost perfect the way she is.  I will brush her good tonight so the vet can see what a gorgeous girl she's become.

After the craft sale....

I spent all day in the park in Henry, IL yesterday with tables full of cards, tiles and tumblers.  The weather rocked.  Low 80s with a wonderful breeze, just a delightful day and a lot of great people.  I wanted to share the first card I sold.  Which is funny, because it's one of the last cards I created.  I think it's ego-building when someone loves a card that you love - it makes me feel as if I'm on track with my craft.  I also got orders for 3 Vino2Go tumblers and sold the one I had for demo.  I gave out a bunch of business cards and had inquiries about custom tiles.  While I didn't make a huge amount of money, I made my rent and gas money and have orders to fill, but the advertisement was worth the trip.  This isn't something I want to do ten hours a day.  A few orders now and then leaves me time for gardening, card making and designing on the computer.  Once upon a time I created muslin rabbits and bears with really elaborate costumes that I sold for a ridiculously large amount of money.  I had so many orders, my life was wrapped up in them.  I barely had time to shower.  And I already had a job.  Which is something I don't ever, ever, ever, ever want again.

I hope your day yesterday was as good as mine and where ever you are today, make it a good one.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Poor Sadie...

Yesterday was movie day - my girlfriend, Ruthann, and I take turns cooking lunch and dessert on Tuesday.  We meet at my house for two movies since we have a big screen and a dark viewing room.  Yesterday was The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers, bringing to an end our Marvel Comic book series.  Sassy was asleep in her carrier most of the day but Sadie was up and about, jumping up on Carl's chair (where Ruthann always sits) and onto the back, into the window and back down again.  She spent some time on the footrest and Ruthann tried to pet her back with her foot.  Sadie screamed at her and Ruthann said she nearly wet her pants.  She was a little uneasy around Sadie after that, not that I blame her.

This morning I'm working in my craft room and rolled my chair back to get something.  I didn't know it but Sadie has crept up on little cat paws and laid down behind my chair.  She has a really bad habit of doing that so I usually look for her but didn't this morning and -- you guessed it -- I ran over some part of her.  Of course, she screamed and I felt really bad.  I tried to get her to walk for me so I could see if I had done any damage but she just wanted to slice me up.  I let her calm down a bit and eventually she laid down again to the left of my computer, out of range and let me pet her without trying to eat me.  She's more clingy than Sassy is, Sassy likes to be with us, not just me, but Sadie is all mine.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Side by Side? Not so much....

The girls are asleep in the same room.  I can't remember that ever happening before.  Sassy is in her pet carrier (the one place we never disturb her) at the north end of the family room and Sadie is on the window shelf at the south end of the room.  This morning there was chasing but no noise and Carl said that Sadie was in the spare bedroom window when Sassy jumped up and patted her in the face.  Sadie turned around and hissed and then they both sat side by side.  No doubt the battle is just taking a break, I doubt they'll hug and make up any time soon, but I like being able to see them both at the same time and they're quiet and at peace.  We made a Walmart run last night and picked up another cat carrier, a little larger than Sassy's.  It's going to be fun shoving Sadie into it on Monday.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sadie sleeps....

I've fixed Sadie a bed in my craft room under some shelving so she will be out of the way.  I'm always so worried that I will push my chair back and roll over her.  Not a good way to get the attention of a cat who tends to hold grudges.  She's been sleeping for three hours, I think the longest she's ever slept.  Maybe she sleeps at night, we wouldn't know.  But during the day she spends a lot more time awake than asleep.  I probably did a bad thing yesterday morning.  We had Kitty Prozac left over from Sassy so I took a half (which was Sassy's prescription and Sadie outweighs Sassy), crushed it up and mixed it into her breakfast.  I did the same thing this morning.  I realize it's supposed to take up to two weeks to work but I swear she's been less vocal and more sleepy today.  We tried the Feliway for several months but that didn't work and maybe this won't either, but it's nice to see her so relaxed even if it isn't the Prozac.  We have an appointment on Monday for both cats - their shots are due and perhaps the vet will have ideas we haven't stumbled upon yet.  We will also be discussing declawing Sadie.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Updated:  10:44 a.m. - Sadie is now in my craft room laying at my feet and giving my hand a bath.  Mattress pad and comforter are at the cleaners - another $37.00 down the drain.  What a difference a couple of hours makes.

Sadie seems to be growing increasingly agitated.   She's growling every time she sees Sassy although Sassy isn't doing anything but laying down.  Sadie has now torn the screen in the family room window and given enough time we believe she would rip the screen and be gone.  While we attribute the bulk of the damage to our screens to the stray, Sadie is obviously contributing to the problem.  She runs frantically from window to door to window to door, it's obvious she's stressed.  Sadie's tail is always twitching now except when she's asleep and she doesn't sleep nearly as much as Sassie does.  And when she does sleep, it's usually at my feet which is funny because she doesn't seem to like me much (although she seems to like me better than Carl).  She is definitely more aggressive now than the day we brought her home so we're going to make a vet appointment next week.  And good luck to us getting her in the carrier.  Besides the aggression problem we're going to have to have her declawed.  I've struggled with that, I HATE the idea of removing her front claws, it will be almost as traumatic for me as for her, but we can't put up with the damage she's doing.  Perhaps the vet will have an alternative for us.  This morning she was laying in the family room window when I went down to check the laundry and I stopped to say hi like I usually do.  When I reached out to pet her, she lunged at me and hit my hand so hard with her teeth that my hand swelled up.  She also managed to bite me in the process.  She's been terribly vocal with me but has never really hurt me unless we were playing.  She's caught me with claws so often I always seem to have holes in my arms, but I don't think any of it was on purpose until today.  She actually frightened me today. 

We have also discussed that maybe Sadie would be happier in a one cat family.  Sassy doesn't seem to bother her nearly as much as she used to, Sadie sometimes screams just because they're in the same room, not because Sassy is attacking her.  Sadie is also using the litter box I put in my craft room - there were no accidents last night but I did discover that she peed on our bed again and we think she did that while our contractor was fixing a leak in Carl's bathroom.  Carl caught her on our bed but the black side of spread was on the bed and you couldn't see the mess unless you turned the comforter over to see the white side, it was down at the end of the bed and had dried before we came to bed.  You'd think we would have smelled it but with the windows open and the fan going, we didn't.  I just happened to see it last night when I pulled the comforter down because it's too hot for me.  So, another trip to the cleaners with the spread and the mattress cover.  I'm really tired of doing this not to mention the expense.  We have the gate up to our bedroom but took it down when the contractor was back and forth from his truck to the bathroom, we tried to make it easier for him.  BIG mistake.  From now on, that gate stays up no matter what.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Screaming now....

All was quiet last night, Sadie spent most of the night in my craft room with me.  She's actually sleeping just to the left of my computer - she usually sleeps just behind my chair so I have to look for her every time I move.  This morning Sadie was in her bay window and Sassy was racing through the house waiting for me to chase her.  And I thought, hmmmmm, it might be a peaceful day.

I finished the paper and my coffee, moved up to my craft room to get ready for a Festival on Saturday and found a large pile of poop on Sadie's blanket in the corner of my craft room.  I cleaned it up and took the blanket down to the laundry room and washed it.  At least she kept it on the blanket so I didn't have to clean the carpet.  I thought about keeping my craft room door shut at night along with all the other doors we shut:  our bedroom, my bathroom, the spare bedroom, the basement - our hope is if Sadie doesn't feel as if she's trapped in a room, she'll use the litter box.  Then it occurred to me that maybe Sadie feels trapped in her litter box.  It only has entry on one side (it's blocked on the left and in front) and if Sassy is guarding the box, Sadie can't get in.   I moved the box to the other side of the room where it's open on either end.  The other option is to put it out completely in the open which isn't my first choice since it's in our living room.  As I finish this, Sadie is right behind my chair again so I can't move, I'm off to get her nice clean blanket to put back in the corner.  And as soon as I get the area under that shelf cleaned out, I'll move another litter box up here, not my first choice, either.

Watching Hoarders and throwin' stuff away...

So, last night while I was working I found a Hoarders marathon on TV and it reminded me that I haven't finished cleaning my craft room yet.  I did clear out about six trips worth of storage that I no longer needed which was immediately grabbed up by my daughter.  I've gotten most of the shelves done but still need to do drawers which are filled with lots of stuff I've never used.  I spent a half an hour working on cards and a half an hour cleaning out drawers, the more Hoarders I watched, the more stuff I pitched.  We have two major projects coming up in September - we have one more garden to clear out and all the flowers in it to transplant and all the craft room furniture to sand and paint.  Before we clean out my room, I will take pictures so I can share the before and after.  I do believe it will look much more polished when I'm finished.  I am struggling with colors.  I'd like my counter to be black and the cabinets either salmon or aqua or any number of other colors - do any of you have any ideas for colors?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Oh, woe is us....

Yesterday morning the grey and white stray made another appearance and Sadie actually got the deck screen slider open a little bit, enough so we have to lock it now.  Also, there are several small holes in it which drives us nuts.  Eventually we will have to replace every screen on the ground floor.  Sadie, of course, started screaming and both Carl and I rushed to find out what was going on.  Sadie was in the dining room, the stray was on the deck and Sadie wanted a piece of him - and not in a nice way.  We chased the stray off and finally got the trap out, but haven't set it yet.  While trapping the cat will keep him from Sadie, we don't know what to do with him after we trap him.  We are not prepared to adopt another cat.  The two we have is more trouble than we want.  So....we struggle for answers as to what to do.

Last night, in the middle of the night, the screaming resumed only this time it was our cats and aimed at each other.  Both cats were howling and Carl actually had to get the squirt bottle to stop it.  Not a good way to wake up.  Sassy has been walking quietly up to Sadie and batting at her tail.  Sassy's tail isn't twitching, and I swear it looks as if she just wants to play.  She isn't doing the running and stalking so much anymore.  But Sadie is grumpy all the time and doesn't seem to recognize the signs.  Perhaps she's never played with other cats before.  Sadie does love to play, however, she has lots of toys and loves the balls and the green fuzzy.  When I play with Sassy using the flannel strip, Sadie is always on the couch watching.  And I've even had them playing with it together although it sure doesn't last long.  I'm even wondering at this point if Sadie would benefit from Kitty Prozac.

But this morning, Sadie was in the window in my craft room and I went to say hello like I do every morning.  While I was petting her, she stretched out on her side and started purring.  A rare occasion for her but it gives me hope that someday she will trust all of us enough to let us handle her without aggression on her part.  I can pick her up and hold her for several minutes, sometimes ten or more minutes but that's rare, too.  And Carl can't pick her up at all.  I've also been attacking her claws - one at a time while she's sleeping.  One is about all she'll let me do.  We have vet visits coming up soon for both cats, perhaps the doctor will have an idea we haven't tried yet.  I would dread giving Sadie medicine with those claws and teeth.  And, speaking of claws, she like Carl's chair for claw sharpening even though there is a scratching post right next to it.  I've been using the squirt bottle on her when she does it.  It's not like there isn't a lot for her to use, the whole cat tower is a scratching post and the one in the family room was purchased just for her (Sassy has no front claws but likes to pretend she does). 

Carl said this morning that he finally feels as if he understands parents when they have unruly children.  He missed out on the parent thing even though he's pretty happy with my daughter; he still feels as if he's living with a couple of bad tempered two year olds.

Literally - a ten minute card...

I'm getting ready for a craft show a week from Saturday and really needed some more inventory.  I was looking for a design that would work up in a hurry but still look good.  So, I located a piece of clip art that I liked and printed it out.  I cut the image using Cindy Ectinaw's Card Creator Basics dies and then matched it to a piece of Bazzill cardstock and cut that out using the Card Creator dies in a larger size.  I added a bow that I made with my Bowdabra and layered it on my card base using Cindy's Layer Creator.  Literally - 10 minutes and it's a lovely card for any occasion.

Beckett Radiance Cardstock
Bazzill Textured Cardstock
Michaels Ribbon
Card Creator Basics - A & B
Layer Creator