Tag Archives: cats

Of April Rain, Cold, Audits and Lemons

Jillian here. April thus far has been interesting here in the panhandle of Florida. It’s been abnormally cold. We always get a lot of rain in the merry month of April (yeah, I know the poem says May) but this year, it’s different as it’s not a warm rain. The days are not sunny and lovely (not many anyway); rather, they are cold and overcast. It’s been in the 40s Fahrenheit at night and we even had a fire in the fireplace yesterday as it never got much over 45 all day with the overcast skies. My son was shocked when he saw I’d made a fire. He said, “It’s April, Mom.” My response, “And I’m cold.”

We had torrential rain already on several days and Saturday, the 7th was especially heinous. Hobbes wouldn’t even get out of the bed. Poor thing.

I have a position I have to be audited in every four years. It’s never a bad thing but it is stressful to have someone going through your records and giving you a grade on how you’re doing. That was last week, so I am in the clear for four more years. I collapsed when it was over on Friday and didn’t do much all weekend. I watched my beloved Liverpool play on Saturday (Had to get up at 6:30 am for that) and read a book by Christopher Fowler. He’s such a great story teller. This was a book from the year 2000 called Calabash.

Today, I went to lunch at Sonny’s BBQ and ordered iced tea. The waitress asked if I wanted lemons. I said no.  She not only ignored that, she brought not one, but two glasses of tea with three lemon slices each. When I was ready to leave, she brought me another in a takeaway cup with three more slices of lemon.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t want all that so I left them in the drink. I think that qualifies for my good deed of the day, doesn’t it?

Stay warm, my friends! IMG_4356 (2)

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Dude, Where’s My Mom?

Hobbes here. On the prowl for Dude. My human mom, Jillian, went missing the week of September 21st and I heard a rumor (and even saw photographic evidence) that she was hanging out with Laurie’s cat, Dude.

the evidence

the evidence

This did not make me happy. I was kind of glad to hear when Laurie and Lavada took Mom (a/k/a the can opener) to the Space Needle and the fish market that Dude had to stay home. Too bad, so sad, Dudester, no fish for you. 011

Hey, wait one second. You know what? She didn’t bring me back any either. Hmmm. I may have to go claw a piece of furniture over that slight.

I also heard no cats got to make the trip to Mount Rainier. Mom said it was gorgeous and I sure would have liked a chance to loll in front of the fireplace in the lodge there. But at least Dude didn’t get to either, right?061

I’m sure when Mom, Laurie and Laurie’s wicked cool husband visited Lavada’s house, they would’ve had to sneak Dude past the home owners association – his fur is probably the wrong color, right? My black and white color scheme would surely pass approval. Poor Dude. He’s pretty but you know how those associations can be.

Mom says the state Capitol building was beautiful and the old houses were really nice. She really liked downtown Olympia and dining near the falls. In fact, she was fed pretty nicely the whole trip. Bet she never thought of poor ole me starving to death at home. The man who lives here isn’t such a softie when it comes to me needing a snack.089

Mom had a great time on her trip but I can’t help but think it would’ve been better for her to stay here and make sure I had enough to eat. Dude and I have that in common. We don’t like it when the can openers leave town.IMG_20150926_050352075

Mom told me that despite my opinion to the contrary, I  am NOT the boss of her and she will go wherever and whenever she pleases.

We’ll just see about that. Won’t we?

Hobbes out!

The trio

The trio

The Day After Mother’s Day

Since all but one of our kids do not live close anymore, my Mother’s Day is a wonderful mix of visiting with my own mother and relaxed conversations with the kids over the phone or Skype.

I love that contact. One of the few fun things about aging is getting to see our children and their families thrive. It’s an amazing thing to watch.

I also love that my husband gives me the best gift every year on this day…weather permitting. This is the day we get the deck furniture out. I can sit in our swing and work, or read, or just watch the grass grow. I call it our swing very, umm, quietly, since this is also Dude’s favorite day of the year, too…and his favorite piece of furniture. He is 17 pounds and king of his domain and will lay on that swing for hours keeping watch. Okay, so maybe he naps more than he keeps watch. Lol.

Speaking of Dude, we’ve had some issues lately. There are a couple new tomcats in the area and Dude has been defending his territory with sound and action. I didn’t know these noises could come out of a cat! First, that low, low growl. Then, as the fur flies, that high-pitched screech. Ugh. I can’t get him to understand pacifism. He’s such a laid back kitty normally, but he’ll not tolerate having to share his space, I guess. I’m praying it settles down, though. Dude is my cuddle-bug (please don’t tell him I called him that), and I don’t really want him to turn aggressive.

Well, that’s about it for our neck of the woods for now. I hope you all had a nice, sunshiny weekend and got to play in the dirt (with the flowers) or do something that feeds your soul.

Have a great week!

Mia – My Mother’s New (to her) Cat

I’m currently waiting for a call from my daughter saying she’s in labor (she’s not…yet). She’s due February 18th and I am on a plane ASAP when that call comes in. 🙂  In the meantime, I’ll talk about the newest edition that HAS arrived in our family. Our mother’s new cat. New to her, anyhow.

After missing her cat, Henry, who passed a couple years ago, Mom seemed ready for a new companion, and we “kids” jumped on it. My sister took Mom to the local rescue place two days after Christmas and Mia came home with Mom that day.

Mia is about ten years old and the sweetest, gentlest cat I’ve ever known. She’s perfect for Mom. Mia’s favorite places are on Mom’s lap and sleeping above her head or next to her leg. She’d sleep ON Mom’s leg if she could, but there are limits, eh?

Anyhow, I couldn’t write about Mia until now because there were issues and I needed to know the outcome would be good, which it is.

We had a horrible time getting Mia to eat. The prior owner had written down the food Mia was used to. Over the course of 4 weeks, Mia ate hardly anything. We tried what she was used to, plus 2 or 3 other brands. Different types of canned food, too. Even drizzling tuna juice didn’t work. Nor did human food. We zapped stuff in the microwave for a few seconds to enhance the scent. Mom smeared it on her paw (she DID lick that off).

Mia was drinking water, but simply would not eat. For FOUR weeks. Mom counted out kibbles and they were still there in the morning. The vet said she had to be getting food from somewhere or wouldn’t be alive after 4 weeks. They did an xray and found a dime-sized stone in her bladder, but didn’t think that would keep her from eating.

Mia and Mom at one of several vet visits.

Mia and Mom at one of several vet visits.

Four vet visits later, and a drop of almost 3 pounds, from 12+ to 9ish, we were desperate. They didn’t want to put her through the trauma of surgery if she wouldn’t eat. So we started a medicine that is an appetite stimulant. I’m not sure how long that stuff takes to kick in, but one day later, Mia still wasn’t eating.

So Mom put her plate on the floor with a few chicken leftovers and was shocked to see Mia gobble them up. She switched the cat food from bowls to plates, and Mia has been eating ever since! It’s amazing!

Now, she’s still on the appetite stimulant, so we’re honestly not sure what did the trick, the meds or the plate. Could plate vs. bowl really be enough of a deterrent for a cat? We had tried different bowls, but never tried a plate. Gees.

Anyhow, it’s been two weeks since Mia started eating. She’s gaining weight. Loving Mom’s lap, her favorite place to be, and successfully had surgery this last week to remove the stone.

All seems to be well with Mia, and as a family, we are so, so grateful. The bonding between Mom and her kitty was immediate and deep and we all hope they get many good years together.

Welcome to the family, Mia!

Shhh, Be Very, Very Quiet

I’m taking over today. I’m like Elmer Fudd tiptoeing through the grass huntin’ a wabbit so be very, very quiet and maybe that woman who is always telling stories on me won’t realize it’s her Monday over here at the Backyard fence. You all do know she’s always forgetting that, right? She’s used to that first Wednesday thing but man, Mondays have her over a barrel.

So, if we’re really careful, she’ll never know I’m here.

Who am I?

Ah, I’m wounded to the quick that you had to ask. It’s Hobbes. Yes, it’s me. That crazy Jillian thinks I can only walk across the keyboard while she’s working and turn on iTunes. She has no idea of my real skill set. photo

Now, I know Lavada’s cat, Rue, took over here one day and she got away with it and I’m hoping none of you will rat me out. Ha ha, I said rat.

Anyway, I wanted to ask you all about this thing called a printer. It’s a real mystery to me. Jillian tried to tell me that it’s on a wireless thing where they can print from laptops in any room but it seems like some kind of black magic to me. I’ll be snoozing away in my favorite spot on the couch (and yeah, it’s leather and I won’t sit on it without a blanket- so what? It’s cold- so sue me) and that thing goes off. Noise ensues and paper starts spewing. I’ve leapt on it many times to try to stop it from destroying anything but haven’t been successful. I’ve climbed all around and inspected it – all to no avail. Anyone know how I can disable it? I need my rest (because I have mischief that needs doing and I have to be ready) and they insist on startling me with the darned thing. A cat can only take so much, you know?

Here I am trying to learn to turn the demon thing off. The picture is dark because I was trying to sneak but got busted. Can anyone help me? I must not let this defeat me or I’ll be the laughingstock of the catnip crowd.

photo-1

My Crazy, Loony-Tunes Cat

Mr. Innocent?

Mr. Innocent?

As many of you know, we got a new kitten on my birthday and let me tell you, he has brought so much joy into my life, it’s crazy. He’s so funny and into everything. We’ve had to start keeping our garbage disposal covered with the metal sink stopper because he likes to get that gross, yucky part with the black flaps out and bat it around the kitchen floor. The first time my husband found that thing on the floor, he asked me why I pulled it out and I said it had to be the cat. He said there was no way that cat did it. The very next day, I came in and watched the crazy animal pull it out with his teeth after manipulating it with his paw. Who needs opposable thumbs? Not my Hobbes.

We can’t set dishes in the sink to soak either. He plays in the sink. When I brush my teeth in the bathroom sink, he’s right there wanting to play. I’ve never had a cat like water like Hobbes does. He drinks out of the faucet and doesn’t even mind getting wet under it.

He hangs out in the fireplace (not when there’s a fire- he has a modicum of sense). He also will help himself to snacks. We’ve caught him grabbing the bag off the counter and gnawing through it (he never eats them all- just a little). I can’t always tell who’s plundering in the kitchen as my husband does that snack thing too with people food, but I seem to catch Hobbes a lot with the bag in mouth. They are called Temptations after all. I caught him on camera one day. He trotted off into the corner and turned his back on me. I made the worst parental mistake and rewarded his bad behavior by letting him have some.

stealing treats

stealing treats

in the fireplace

in the fireplace

He looks sweet and innocent but he’s a terror. He kept me amused when my dad was in the hospital and I was fretting. You can’t fret with this terror around. He won’t let you!

Here are some pictures of the little devil.

working

digging deep

got it

hmmm

ouch

victory

working

dreaming of future mischief

dreaming of future mischief

Bring on the Sunshine…I hope.

Well, winter is winding down, right? At least, I hope it is. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been blessed with a pretty mild winter. (And I say that tongue in cheek as I’m one who prefers a little snow each winter). I hope you have had a tolerable winter, also.

Now that Spring is around the corner, my husband is starting on garden projects. This year, we’re (oooh, I think I just used the royal “WE” there) starting some seeds in our newly enclosed greenhouse.  This structure has been there the entire time we’ve lived here, but we never took the time to enclose it.  greenhouse1

So now, what used to be a playhouse for our grandchildren is now called “the blue house”. greenhouse2And hopefully, it will give hubby a running start at the produce production. Not that he needs it. I don’t think he remembers there’s only two of us living here when he plants those seeds.

Dude, our 17 pound cat, is already showing signs that he’s coming out of hibernation. He’s not hesitating so much when you open the door to let him out. Cold weather will turn him around in a heartbeat. I think he spends half the winter curled up close to the wood stove. He’s now going outside for more than a quick potty trip. And, at 17 pounds, we’ve been able to talk him into walks around the property. Yes, that’s right. We have to take our cat for a walk. It’s the only way he’ll exercise. He’s such a lazy guy, but too loveable to berate. lol.

floors3

Happy almost Spring, everyone!