Sunday, September 29, 2013

An ah ha moment...

I had an epiphany last night.  It 'finally' occurred to me that if the cats couldn't get ON the bed, they couldn't poop on it.  Brilliant idea!  So, I pulled some boxes out of the closet and covered the bed with them as well as some wire shelves we're going to put in our new linen closet.  I don't plan to do this forever, just until I'm sure both cats are using the litter boxes.  I put a cat carrier "Oh, no, the vet" on my chair seat which was the second place that gets pooped on.  We left the spare bedroom door open last night and, as I suspected, nothing on it this morning but all the junk I put on it.  And Sassy used the litter box in the spare room.  As of 9:01am, Sadie had not made a deposit in any box and she ate breakfast around 6:00 am so she should be due.  Also, Sadie did not ingest her pill yesterday even though I re-mixed it in her food twice.  She was ravenous this morning and ate everything.  It's the difference between smelling the pill (it was in her food so long yesterday the gel cap melted) and being fresh in the gel cap and not smelling the pill.

There's another 'up' side to this story - I can actually walk in the closet I removed the boxes from.  It's where I hang laundry when I pull it out of the dryer and since it's a deep closet I have to reach over the boxes to get to the bar.  It's so much easier now.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Poop, poop, poop...

Poop again - this time on my corduroy chair in the family room.  I suspect Sassy but we're not sure, this was medium sized.  Luckily, we had the chair covered, so no damage.  Our next step will be to lock Sassy up at night.  We don't know that she's guilty but it will tell us who is.  If Sassy is locked up then poop on the chair would belong to Sadie.  Of course, then we'd have to lock Sadie up.  Perhaps medicating Sassy would be the next step.  We're just tired of the constant stress - if it isn't one that's the problem, it's the other.  Why can't we all just get along?

I've ordered some catnip oil to spray on the scratching posts to divert Sadie's attention from the good chairs.  I read good reviews about it so at $10.00 versus $500.00 for a new chair, I was sold.  It should be here on Monday (thank goodness for Amazon prime). 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ut oh!

Huge poop on the spare bed this morning and little poop in the laundry room litter box.  So, they've switched rolls - Sassy using the litter box and Sadie pooping on the spare bed.  Carl paid $12.00 for a spray bottle of stuff to keep cats off of furniture but it doesn't say how often you have to respray.  He used it once and it worked for two nights so he's going to spray every night which is just as much trouble as closing the spare bedroom door every night when he goes to bed.  At least we'll be able to see if the spray really works - or not.  The girls are still quiet and polite around each other but not friendly.

Sassy has stopped obsessively cleaning herself.  The last three days there hasn't been any sopping wet fur on her, sometimes she will groom until she drips.  I've gotten all the knots out from under her front legs, that was a long process, and now I'm working on some on her butt which will take even longer because she doesn't like to be brushed around her tail.  Another day, another adventure.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Healthy Eating....

When Carl and I got back from Wisconsin where we were bloated every day for six days in a row, I decided we needed to change our eating habits.  So, I pulled out my Better Homes and Gardens Dieter's Cookbook and started looking for recipes I thought we would like.  I found a bunch - Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa, Peppercorn Steaks, Ginger Beef Stir Fry, Red Snapper Veracruz, Thai Shrimp and Snow Peas.  I know a lot more about eating healthy and my checkbook proves it.  Eating frozen and boxed meals along with fresh meat twice or three times a week and the usual groceries - cereal, milk, cleaning products, etc. usually cost me about $100 a week for the two of us.  Eating healthy has been costing between $150-$170/week.  Example:  an organic mango (the only kind our store carries) cost me $2.00 for one - and it wasn't even ripe.  Unsweetened coconut milk in a can is expensive if you only need 4 ounces and the can is 15 ounces.  How often do you use unsweetened coconut milk?  Herbs come in pretty hefty packages but I only need a teaspoon.  I have a whole drawer of vegetables:  green onions - I only needed 3; cucumber - I only needed a half.  So, I need to plan other meals using the ingredients I didn't use up.  For those of you that eat healthy meals - how do you contend with the huge packages of meat (there are only two of us)?  I needed four whole wheat tortillas and had to buy twelve.  I think I understand Steve Martin in Father of the Bride when he got thrown in jail for taking two hot dog buns out of the package because the package had twelve buns but the hot dog package only had ten hot dogs.

Monday, September 23, 2013

No news is good news....

It's been very quiet here since my last post.  Sadie is taking her drugs and has been behaving herself.  I can't even remember the last time she screamed - or even hissed.  Both girls can be in the family room at the same time, and while they walk wide around each other, there have been no confrontations.  Of course, that will probably change because I'm writing about it.  Sassy is over her constipation, all the hairballs are through.  Carl is mixing a little hairball laxative in her food every morning.  He tried a whole dose but she ignored the food.  Sadie, however, will lick it off his finger, but Sadie is a fur covered garbage disposal.  Sassy is a diva - only certain things are allowed to pass her lips and laxative of any kind is off of her menu.  Sadie will allow a little affection - more when she's napping and less when she's running around.

Carl brought home a huge container of catnip.  We have two small bags filled that both cats roll around with.  I pick it up and crush it on occasion and toss it to Sassy and she rolls around hugging it to her chest.  Sadie's bag is in the living room and I often find it in the window.  Both bags need new stuffing so Carl went to CatnipRUs and bought the giant economy size in a plastic jug.  He also bought some spray to keep cats off of furniture and tried it on the spare bed which is also covered with waterproof pads AND a painter's plastic tarp.  Of course, Sassy doesn't poop on the spare bed every night so one night isn't a good test, but last night the bed was clean and she'd used the litter box in the spare bedroom; Sadie used the one in the laundry room (which is the one I want them both to use).  I would love to remove a couple of those boxes so we didn't have five.  Experts say you should have one more box than cats so it would be great if we only had three.  We're just holding our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Sadie has now been here five months.

Over and over again....

More runny poop on the spare bed even though the bed is well covered with waterproof pads and a painter's plastic tarp.  Sassy didn't want me playing with her tummy this morning although that's happened when she's perfectly healthy.  She's still eating and drinking well.  I can't tell what's illness, stress or just being Sassy.  Sadie has caught up with her meds and is back to being her usual slow and sleepy self.  Carl likes her better off the meds but Sassy doesn't.  Sassy is acting like Sadie did when she first arrived.  Always looking around corners, jumping at every noise.  She did let me brush her for a long time last night.  She keeps getting knots under her front legs and they are particularly hard to comb out because they're very close to her skin.  Last night she seemed willing to stay and let me work on them, purring all the while.  She lays on her back with all of her legs spread wide and purrs and purrs and purrs, we think it's so funny.  Carl was frustrated this morning, he actually snapped at me like I told Sassy to poop on the bed.  I'm out of answers.  I keep hoping once the relationship issue resolves itself, both cats will settle down and just be cats, not furry skins filled with angst.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What a mess.....

Sassy has been sick from the 'other' end all day today.  She's managed to hit all of the five litter boxes, my chair, several carpets, the couch and the spare bed.  I don't think she meant to make any messes, I think they were a case of not getting to the box in time.  I picked her up to rub her ears and saw that she had soiled herself as well so I gave her a bath (what a fun time that was) and took her to my bathroom to blow dry her.  She clearly wasn't a fan but didn't give me a lot of trouble about brushing and blow drying.  I kept her in my bathroom for a couple of hours with a bowl of water, a litter box and a blanket.  When I finally let her out, she went down to sleep on Carl's chair.  We're going to start her on a little olive oil with her breakfast in the hopes it will lubricate the hairballs enough to pass through.

Sadie ate very little breakfast when it was first served and didn't consume her pill.  I mounded her food up again and placed the pill on top but when she finished eating later, she managed to eat around the pill.   She was a little more active this morning than usual and Sassy and Sadie mixed it up a few times but played chase, too.  We'll try her pill again in the morning.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sassy is sick

Sassy has been throwing up the last two days.  First, two enormous hairballs and then just food and drool.  She's been mopey and not interested in playing.  Last night we got home from a street fair and she had thrown up three times in the family room.  We agreed if she wasn't better in the morning we would call the vet but this morning she ate a full breakfast and settled down in the spare bedroom window for a snooze.  Just before she ate, she made a run at Carl's chair, all the way to the back setting it to rocking - she hasn't done that for a while.  So, we figure she's feeling better and we'll keep an eye on her.  She's still over-grooming, patches of her fur are sopping wet by the time she feels as if she's done.  I brush her as much as she'll let me so at least I reduce by a little the fur she's ingesting.

Sadie, on the other hand, seems healthy as a horse.  She eats twice a day and finishes what Sassy leaves.  She's grumpy in the morning but has mellowed out by 8 am or so.  This morning she's in my craft room window.

If you look carefully, outside the window by her body, is a small feeder that I hook on the screen track and it's filled with peanuts for the chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers.  I've had to keep the window closed because Sadie wants to go through the screen and grab the birds.  Now, they don't pay any attention to her.

We're still having small dust-ups.  Once Sadie was laying in Carl's chair and Sassy ran up to it and jumped into the chair, too.  A little hissing, Sassy jumped down and the event was over.  But yesterday they both ended up in my bathroom at the same time while I was indisposed.  Sadie ran over and attacked Sassy who moved into a corner and there wasn't much I could do but throw a pair of shorts at Sadie which gave Sassy time to escape.  Sassy often visits me in the bathroom to hide behind the curtain and play with my fingers.  Sadie has just started jumping into my tub.  But I haven't seen them both in there at the same time.  If Sassy doesn't stop excessively grooming, it may be time for her to get drugs before all her fur is gone.  Boy, I remember when cats were just pets, not neurotic patients.  I guess I feel worse for Sassy because she always looks so unhappy (even the cat sitter noticed how sad Sassy looks all the time) and Sadie looks evil - yellow green eyes, direct stare, regal pose; Carl says she looks like she's wondering how to tear you limb from limb.

I've been able to pick Sadie up and pet her several more times the last few days but no purring and she's not agreeable to it all the time, just once in a while.  I keep trying, though.

Make it Crafty Urban Scene Release

I was a huge fan of Kenny K when he first started and his urban kids collection is one of my favorites to color.  He moved on to bodacious babes - and while I'm not a prude, I don't have the audience for those images.  Zoe at Make it Crafty just added more images to her earlier urban background digital images and I love them, especially Urban Johnny.  I do believe I rocked the bricks.  My image was colored with Prismacolor pencils and spray painted with copics.  The background paper is from the DCWV Glam Rock stack which has some fabulous teen paper in it.  The card base is a Modified Tri Shutter card featured on Splitcoast Stampers recently.

Last night my husband and I attended a local street fair and I passed out business cards for my new blog:  Central Illinois Craft Show Central:  I received rave reviews for the idea which made me feel really good and I hope to have every craft/art show in the Central Illinois area on it by next spring.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A step forward, a step back

Things have been well here.  No fussing amongst cats.  A little running and chasing, but nothing nasty.  Sadie is almost always approachable now.  Sadie had her first Prozac on 8/4 so she's been on them six weeks now.  The only time she seems a little aggressive is in the morning when, perhaps, the pill has worn off.  Or perhaps it's just she wide awake and raring to go.  One day last week when I picked her up (and she's much better about that, she won't stay but doesn't fight anymore), she actually purred.  Third time since we've had her.  We've kept the spare bedroom door closed since the 10th but opened it back up yesterday to see what would happen.  Sadie pooped on the bed last night sometime.  So, we'll leave it open during the day and closed at night.  With five boxes, you'd think that she could find one to use.  It's strange that she was always the good cat and while Sassy is pretty much using the box all the time, Sadie seems to be regressing.  Carl wrestled with Sadie last night for a while until she pulled out the claws, she's getting much better about using them, too.  But she still gets caught in the carpet, throws, and Carl's chair and we're still debating declawing her.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Another craft show under my belt...

I attended a craft show at the Henry, IL American Legion yesterday.  It was a first time event, both for them and me.  During a conversation among crafters, several crafts shows I knew nothing about were mentioned and it occurred to me that there wasn't a central blog or facebook page I could go to and check Central Illinois craft shows.  From that thought, an idea sprung, sprang, uh, was born.  Central Illinois Craft Show Central (, a blog devoted entirely to craft shows in Central Illinois containing information for customers, hosts and vendors.

The lady in the space next to me sold the cutest small purses for craft show vendors - big enough to hold money, cell phone and chewing gum.  They were made from different kinds of material from cotton to blue jean material and each was decorated differently.  If I decided my daughter needed one of those, I would have no way to get in touch with the crafter.  However, if I could check the entry in my blog for that specific craft show which listed the vendors, I could check future craft shows for her.  I realize some crafters have followers but she was new to me and I didn't get a business card or find out what her next show was.  And sometimes, you don't know something will come in handy until you actually need it.  So, what do you think?  Would you check a blog like that on occasion?  I have created a draft e-mail to show organizers and sent one to the host of the next show I'm doing with that question.  I'm hoping she thinks it's a good idea.  I want to work with hosts and vendors to give customers a source for finding vendors and shows.  I want to give vendors a source of advertising and I want to give hosts a forum for announcing their shows.

If I hear that people would find that information useful, I will contact hosts (I have a few names already) and chamber of commerce offices in hopes of reaching more hosts.  I will ask the hosts I know to forward my information to others.  In due course, this could become the ultimate lists of craft shows and vendors in Central Illinois.  I love to work on the computer and I've been looking for a project to make me feel as if I'm contributing to the crafting world.  In closing, I did fairly well yesterday.  I made my rent (we all love to do that) and I have some beer money.  I don't do this to make money as much as to deplete my inventory, I can send only so many of the cards I make.  And I have to make cards, it's what I do - so, instead of buying a new house to store them in, I attend craft shows, make lots of new friends, enjoy a day free of house work, cooking and laundry, and occasionally find a treasure for myself. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh, dear...oh, dear

Carl and I left on vacation on 31 August.  Tiffany came in once a day to clean boxes, feed the cats, and make sure Sadie had her meds.  We kept in touch by e-mail and there were no problems, no aggression, no accidents.  We had closed off the basement, spare bedroom, upstairs bathroom and, of course, our bedroom before we left.  We got home on 7 September and all was well.  Both cats seemed happy to see us, Sadie was a touch more loving than usual and while the cats weren't besties, they weren't fighting either.  We opened all the doors except our bedroom and the cats seemed fine.

Sunday afternoon they had a bit of a tiff.  Sassy was sitting in front of Carl's chair when Sadie stopped at the edge of the coffee table, bunched up her muscles, launched herself at Sassy all the time hissing and slapping.  It was over before I could stop it, but Sadie was clearly the aggressor that time.

Jump to this morning after Carl fed them.  Sadie ran into the spare bedroom, a few minutes later Sassy followed.  Carl said about five minutes after that Sassy ran out of the spare bedroom, across the family room and around my footstool with Sadie close behind.  No noise, just running.  Carl checked the spare bedroom and (we think Sassy) one cat pooped on the spare bed again.  It's completely covered, no damage, but disheartening.  Small poop and pee, Sassy - large poop and pee, Sadie.  This was small.

Sassy coughed up the biggest hairball I've ever seen yesterday morning.  A huge tight wad of hair.  It doesn't surprise me as much as she grooms but she doesn't have many of them.  I brush her at least once a day, sometimes twice if I can catch her.  She won't volunteer but she does love it, she just purrs and purrs unless I hit a knot and then she's uncomfortable.  I get brushes full of hair each time and there's so much cat hair on the carpet.  I've tried the hairball medicine - in the tube, as a treat, but she won't eat it.  If I put it on her fur she rubs it on something to get it off, or just ignores it.  We do give her Hairball Control food and she eats that well enough.

A few minutes ago Sadie came into the craft room and I left for a minute to get my clothes out of the closet in preparation for a shower.  Sadie was outside the screen door when I tried to get out of the bedroom and the little stinker forced her way in - under the bed.  I went to get the squirt bottle which is how I get her out from under the bed, when I went back in she was on the bed so I just picked her up while she screeched and wiggled but didn't bite me.  I set her down outside the door just as Sassy came up the stairs and Sadie went after Sassy with claws and fangs snapping, chased Sassy into the kitchen while both of them were screeching so I got the squirt bottle and squirted Sadie - clearly, again, the aggressor.  Sadie is taking her meds every day and they do seem to be making a bit of a difference - we can pet her now and she seeks affection, but I don't see the cats making nice much.  I don't know if an increase in dosage would work or if time will work.  It's been four and a half months since Sadie came to live with us and we're still looking for answers.

There's no place like home....

This is sunrise at Sunrise Lodge, Phelps, Wisconsin and I'm standing on the deck of the cabin we reserve every year for the week after Labor Day.  I sit at a table looking out a window with this view as I color, watching the eagles fly back and forth across the lake.  I took two Art Bins full of coloring supplies and spent the whole week either coloring, reading or watching some new DVDs we picked up in Wausau on the way.  We stop at a Walmart there to stretch, rest stops are few and far between on the route we take.  We also hit the $5.00 DVD rack and picked up The Fighter, Reds, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and The Mechanic (awesome movie).  Carl picked up several WWI and Korean War documentaries as well as one on the Trail of Tears.  A very productive visit.  We found, to our delight, a totally new deck this year with a wider set of steps going up to it.  Every year there's something new:  cable, DVD player, WIFI, fireplace.  It's wonderful to see money being put into the resort; you know they care about it and plan to keep it around for a while.

I just finished an order for a repeat customer - table decorations and trivia cards for a reunion.  I will mail the last of it this morning.  Today is movie day - Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Chicken sandwiches for lunch and a healthy dose of the 4th season of the Good Wife which arrived while I was on vacation.  Next up will be the 2nd season of Scandal, and the 5th season of Leverage. 

I also need to get back on a schedule for making cards and entering challenges.  I do have a craft show this Saturday but doubt that I'll have time this week to add to my inventory.  I do plan, however, to take a big box of Sizzix dies and my wizard to sell as well as some items for vinyl.  Off to get my day started.

I hope the sunrise was as spectacular for you today.