Friday, February 27, 2015

Another journey...

The last two weeks have been up and down.  After several accidents, Sassy was on lock down again for a week.  Since she only pooped once a day and that was at night, locking her up until she pooped was the easiest thing to do.  Then she changed her schedule to early evening so did a few more accidents and did nothing when we locked her up.  One day last weekend she finally started using the box in the living room that I placed next to the window (there are three in there now).  She's used the box faithfully since then.  Another good night last night.  But Wednesday night we think Sadie made a mess (it would be the first we think she's made except for peeing).  Carl has been slipping her a small amount of laxative in her food every other day.  She has been depositing one small drop in a box and another small drop in a different box several times a day.  She eats well and she's ten pounds so she should be expelling more than she does.  We tried the laxative to see if maybe she was bound up.  Wednesday night there was a mess next to the box and one in the window box which was clearly belonged to Sassy, so we attribute the mess on the carpet to Sadie.  Perhaps she's on her way to being regular.

We have been talking about weaning Sadie off of the medication again.  She's been on it daily since early November.  We're going to try every other day and see how that works.  If we don't see any marking we'll wait a while and reduce another day - a pill every third day. 

In an unrelated story, one of the local strays made an appearance Wednesday night on the deck.  Sassy tried to go through the glass after it.  The noise she was making actually scared me.  Unlike last time, we did not bring this cat in.  The cat we invited into our house on  February 15th has been diagnosed with feline aids which, I understand, is transmitted through blood and saliva.  Since our cats were never in contact with "Morris", they are safe.  Morris lived in our spare bedroom with his own food, water and litter box, everything went out to the garage after he was picked up by Bill and Sandy.  Sandy called us with the diagnosis for which there is no cure just to alert us.  Apparently, just like people aids, feline aids compromises the immune system leaving cats vulnerable to other problems.  They can live long and happy lives, so Sandy and Bill decided not to put him down (he is such a love) and as I write, he's at the vet being neutered and having his claws taken out so he doesn't scratch their other cat.  We made the decision not to remove Sadie's claws because I think it's a barbaric thing to do but they need to do what they feel is right for their household.  Just keeping him is an act of kindness.  If ever a cat was made for love, it was "Morris".

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Update on the lotus....

This picture shows the condition of the tuber when I received it.  If you double click and blow the picture up, you can clearly see the break in the tuber.
Hopeful,  I planted both tubers in this small 9 x 12" tub and put it on my seed starting mat.  I was rewarded with several shoots from both tubers.  At this point I asked about the size of the bigger tub and was told (in capital letters), you can't transplant now, you will kill it.  Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  I ordered a lotus tub, had Carl get another bag of top soil and we cut the pink tub down the side and across the bottom separating the sides from the bottom of the tub.  We slid the bottom of the pink tub into the black tub and filled in dirt so the soil was level.
This is what it looks like today.  Three leaves up and two more in process.  Carl was talking about getting a kids swimming pool to set it in but how in the world would we ever move it outside?  As it is, we will need to remove the water, place the tub on a cart and move it outside.  Fun times.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mrs. Perry D. Slocum...

When I retired the guys I worked for gave me a big gift certificate to a local nursery.  I used most of the money to buy a lotus, Mrs. Perry D. Slocum.

While this isn't my photo, this is exactly what she looked like.  She was breathtaking.  And she bloomed every year until we rebuilt the pond.  She was outside the pond for three or four days before being placed at a different depth than she was used to and she just didn't send up any more shoots.  So, a few weeks ago I ordered a dormant tuber from Bonnie Hale in North Carolina for $20.00.  I had purchased pond plants from her before and she always sent top quality plants.  She had a huge e-mail about handling the tuber, planting it, taking care of it, etc.  Pages of information.  I read it all.  When the tuber arrived broken, she implied it was my fault, she had been mailing tubers for 16 years, I  must have handled it roughly (I swear, I did not).  Her information had dire warnings about broken tubers not surviving.  Hoping for the best, I followed directions for planting, added bottom heat, used good top soil and was rewarded with shoots from both pieces of the tuber (so much for dire warnings).  What was not included in the information she provided was how fast these shoots would grow and how quickly they would fill the container I had them in (a tub that came home from the hospital with my father-in-law).  So I emailed her and asked her what dimensions the tubs she used were and got a snarky e-mail back that said I could not transplant the tuber now, it would kill it and didn't I read the information she gave me?  OK, so much for customer service.  I ordered a lotus tub on line and received it today.  Carl filled it with top soil for me and then cut the sides off of the container I was using.  We just lifted the bottom of the hospital tub into a depression in the new tub and added dirt around it to the level it was used to and then I added water.  We do need more top soil but the tubers haven't been disturbed and we won't have to do this again.  I am hoping for the best but it's survival of the fittest around here.  (We have been known to plant annual perennials.)  We will not have to disturb it again but it won't go in the pond until June, heaven only knows how big it will be by then and I'm wondering where I'm going to put it that has enough light to keep it alive.  Note to self:  next time, stupid, pay the extra money and buy the lotus in June and let someone else do the worrying.

And, this is my photo.  Worth a little trouble, right?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wookiee's got legs....

It seems that Wookiees need legs and this one's got 'em.  Legs are done. Charlotte will do some tweaking of colors when it's completely finished and she's working on the front chest now. Go fingers, go.

 Wookiees need a voice and this is the start. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day...

Penny Black Wonderful & Jolly, Every Which Way; Kraftin' Kimmie Sentiments
Martha Stewart Heart Punch

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Come in out of the cold....

Having a super territorial cat can be a problem.  When the local strays sit on the deck and stare at her through the sliding glass door she tends to get pretty upset.  So last night in 2 degree weather, when the motion activated light on the deck came on, she ran to see what was what.  There, shivering, was an orange cat looking in at the warm.  In spite of the fact we knew our cats would go ballistic, we could not leave him outside in those temperatures.  So, I stepped outside and picked him up.  He immediately clung to me purring loudly.  We couldn't let him down in the house so we put him in the gated laundry room (Sassy's lock up room) with food, water and a litter box.  We quickly discovered he was a jumper, up on the sink and then to the gate where he just climbed me.  He's the lap cat I was looking for when I discovered Sassy and Sadie.  What a love.  We finally equipped the spare bedroom with all the necessities and locked him in there for the night.  We got on our neighborhood facebook and found someone who recently lost their cat and wanted him.  After being assured that he would be an indoor cat, we made plans for him to be picked up today.

Doesn't he look like Morris?  If our cats weren't so nuts, we'd keep him.  Sassy spent last night running around the living room jumping in the air every time she heard a tiny noise.  She was locked up last night right next door but used her litter box and got out of lock up early this morning.  She's still pretty freaked.  Sadie isn't paying a lot of attention but we attribute that to the drugs. 

I just did a walk-about to check on the cats.  Sassy is asleep in the master bedroom window and Sadie is sleeping in the hall outside my craft room.  Neither one is paying any attention to "Morris".  So...  Update after he's picked up.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sassy back on lock up....

Sassy has had repeated accidents since we returned from Florida.  While not everyday, she manages to not hit the litter box several times a week - always solids.  When she was using the litter box mat I wasn't too concerned, but she's moved to the carpet again.  We brought up the gate and she's back in lock up in the laundry room again.  The first night she's using the litter box again.  I wish we could figure out just what's off with her.  It's all in her head, we've eliminated everything else.  She's such a silly girl.

Wookiee update....

Slow progress on the wookiee front.  Blending, straightening, latching all takes lots of time.  A thirty hour weekend latching session didn't finish as much as she thought it would.  They are still shooting for spring as a finish date so have opted to buy the face mask as opposed to sculpting it. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Who stole Sadie and replaced her with an exact copy?

Tuesday morning I was in the family room awaiting my Tuesday lunch date when Sadie came down.  She's pretty reclusive, when we're all in the family room (Carl, Sassy and I), Sadie is usually in the back bedroom or our bedroom upstairs.  We've not been able to convince her to hang with us.  But Tuesday, there she was.  So I grabbed the stick with the flannel strip and tried to entice her to play...and she did.  I had her running all over the family room while Sassy watched with what I imagine was astonishment.  We played Wednesday and again today.  So, either the pod people have been here, cloned Sadie, took away the real one and left a pliant duplicate -- or Sadie is coming around.

Monday, February 2, 2015

About Sadie...

We've been having some issues with Sadie (with Sassy, too, but that's for another day).  She's been pooping tiny amounts, about the size of a peanut, two in this box - and later, two in another box.  Some are drop offs on the floor but always small.  Sadie is a big eater, she eats wet food and dry food, both hers and what Sassy leaves, so a lot in should equal a lot out.  Carl called my attention to something she did in the basement box that was laced with blood.  I immediately got on the internet and did some research and then I called the vet who confirmed what I thought.  Apparently if cats strain to eliminate fecal matter, they can burst tiny blood vessels.  Trace amounts of blood in a stool isn't anything to worry about.  I was told to keep an eye on it and if it showed up again, make an appointment.  Two days later I caught her straining in the litter box but only deposited one tiny piece so we pulled out the laxative (salmon flavored) and gave her a strip.  Luckily she loves it.   We actually think Sadie has been constipated.  She didn't poop all day yesterday and she hid under the table skirt almost all day.  She's been with me in the craft room or down at the dining room door most days so not seeing her was unusual.  Today she pooped huge, threw up and ate all her breakfast as well as some treats.  She's been out and about, right now she's in my craft room on the window ledge; she followed me to the family room while I folded clothes and back up here again.  We are going to give her a maintenance dose every three days and just keep an eye on her.  If we still have trouble, then it's off to the vet.