Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Hellos: Samantha; Farewells: Fiona

Hello Friends,

We don't know where the summer went, but it's gone. And mom hasn't help us post since mid-July. We hope all is well with you. Mom is still bartending part-time while she continues to look for an office job. She as been unemployed since the end of March. It frustrates her because she thinks she might be a "victim" of age discrimination. Possible employers can't ask her age, but when they read her resume and see how long she worked (almost 28 years at the same institution) they figure out what her approximate age is. It's not fair, but she knows it happens.

We welcomed a new member to our family. Mom was waiting for her brother to come out of Walmart (he works there) and she heard a tiny meow. There was a wee kitten in the parking lot, sitting by mom's SUV. Mom tried and tried to snag that baby up, but it would run under a car parked across for mom. But you won't believe what happened. The lady put her groceries in her car, and as she was getting into the car to leave, mom told here there was a kitten beneath her car. This angel lady had cat food and a carrier in her car. She was able to snag the kitten while it was eating. She put the kitten into the carrier and mom and our uncle took the kitten to the 24/7 vet.

The kitten is a girl and our uncle named her Samantha. She is solid black with a floofy tale. Mom says she is medium hair kitty. The vet said Samantha was approximately 12 weeks old at that time. She also tested positive for FIV. The vet said she might shed that virus and to retest at 6 months of age. This was on July 29, 2018. She is due for retesting and has an appointment at 7:30 this evening. It is also going to be a pre-op test for her spaying. She has been making up to Cash and he doesn't have a clue (all of our kitties are spayed or neutered).

The problem mom is having is trying to catch Samantha. She has two speeds: fast or asleep. She runs anytime mom or uncle get near her. Mom said she acts like a semi-feral kitty. Samantha had a 9:30am appointment yesterday, but mom cancelled because they couldn't catch Samantha! Our uncle caught her once, but she is strong and got away from him. He has scratches on his arm from her leaping out of his arms.

We also have a bit of sad news. Our feisty sister, One-Eyed Fiona, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday, November 1. She was diagnosed in February with kidney issues. She ate the prescription food that some of the others eat. As winter turned to spring, spring into summer, and summer into fall, Fiona was losing weight. She spent more and more time sleeping. Her last day and a half was spent sleeping in our uncle's chair. When she tried to get out of the chair on Thursday morning she fell to the floor. She was still breathing, but she was so weak she couldn't stand. She laid there with her eyes closed. It was time to say goodbye. Fiona's passing was peaceful and we thank the staff at Jefferson Animal Hospital for their kindness. The staff put her in a sealed box so mom could take her body to our regular vet for cremation. Mom picker up her ashes yesterday. Fiona is home.

We aren't exactly sure how old Fiona was. Mom adopted her in February 2005. The shelter said she was probably 2 to 3 years old. We estimated her age to be around 16. Fiona bit mom 3 different times over the 13 years she was with us. Once was the day after she joined the family. The second time was a month ago. The third time was a week ago yesterday. Fiona was feisty up to the end.

Our typist (aka mom) needs to get ready for her physical therapy appointment. She has bone spurs and arthritis in her right shoulder. The PT has help her so much!

With love to all,
Angel Clarissa

Monday, July 16, 2018

Checking In

I thought I'd better check in and let you all know how the crew and mom are doing. It's a mix of good and bad, so sit back and enjoy the reading.

Bad news:  Mom left her job at Walmart after 2.5 weeks. She trained as a cashier, but all of the twisting and turning and standing in one place for an 8 hour shift was too hard on her. She got along with her co-workers and didn't have a problem with the customers.

Good news:  Mom has a job as a bartender at a local American Legion Hall. She really likes it. So far the mixed drinks have been simple: whiskey/water, screw driver, gin/tonic, beer. It's only part time and it's not enough to pay the bills, but it's better than nothing. Mom is hoping that she will get more hours once school starts. The bartender who trained her is a school teacher.

Bad news: The air compressor went out in Mom's car which meant no air conditioning.

Good news:  The air compressor was still under warranty (it was put in last November). There was no charge to replace it.

Bad news: The air conditioner in the house died on July 3rd. It was too old to be repaired. The unit was 31 years old. It served them well. Yes, we went 14 days without air conditioning with temps in the 90s and the heat index being 100+ for several days. Cost to replace: $6000.

Good news: The new central air unit was installed today.

Cat news:  All of the kitties made it through the 14 days without air conditioning. They slept on the floor in front of the fans, or stretched out in the hallway. For some reason the hallway never got as hot as the rest of the house. Ceiling fans ran 24/7. Windows stayed open 24/7. It was rather miserable to be honest.

Sable has a vet appointment for tomorrow morning. He has a winky eye. Mom thought she has some ophthalmic ointment that had been prescribed for us, but she was wrong. However, she did find some cat meds that we no longer need. They aren't expired, so mom is going to donate them to our vet's office. One of the vets treats shelter cats and she will use donated meds for them.

Last but not least, we want to thank Ann from Zoolatary for making this wonderful graphic for Batman:

Angel Clarissa

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

And then were 10 (again): RIP Batman

Our dear sweet Batman crossed the Bridge yesterday afternoon.

Batman had been stumbling a bit when he jumped down from the recliner, and it seemed that he couldn't quite get his footing when he was walking around on mom. He also started vocalizing when he was walking. Batman was normally a quiet boy and rarely had much to say.

He lost the the use of his back legs yesterday afternoon. When he jumped down from the recliner he could barely stand. He tried to walk, but he couldn't keep his balance. He would take a step or two and then fall over. Mom immediately called our vet's office and was told to bring him in.

Mom's initial thought was he either had a stroke, or his kidneys were giving out. It was neither. Dr. Greene said Batman's heart was racing and she couldn’t feel a pulse in his back legs. She put him on the floor and watched him try to walk. The vocalizing was caused by pain. The diagnosis was saddle thrombosis. It is a blood clot that settles in the femoral artery, sometimes one side, sometimes both.

It was with a heavy heart that mom made the decision to let him go. Batman was 17 years old. Batman loved to put is paw in her hand when he was napping. Mom held his paw in her hand and stroked his head as he peacefully passed.

Batman was part of the crew of Cleveland kitties that she took in. There were five in the crew. Four siblings and Batman. He was 5 years old when he joined the family.  Puff and Ginger are the only ones left now. They are both 16.

This is the last picture mom took of Batman. He was soundly sleeping with his head resting on Sable. That was Sunday night.

Angel Clarissa

Monday, June 4, 2018

Dearest Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that my sweet, beautiful girl, Clarissa, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She had been failing for the past week. When she didn't come out to greet me on Friday night I knew it was time to let her fly free. She passed peacefully on Saturday morning. The vet who had cared for her from the time she was eight weeks old was with her to assist her crossing. I'm glad she had someone who knew her well. Of course, I was also with her. My brother was with us, but he couldn't stay in the room. After she had passed he came back to tell her goodbye.

I knew this day would come and I didn't want to think about it. When Clarissa had her senior exam in December 2017, I was told that her kidney numbers were off. I put her on the prescription food that Sable eats and she did well. Much like Angel Fred, she developed a respiratory infection and could no longer fight it.

Clarissa was just shy of her 18 birthday. She had a good, long life, and she knows how much she was loved.

I will keep Clarissa's blog running. I know posting is sporadic, but the other kitties will post when they can.

With love to all,
Malinda, Clarissa's mom

Monday, April 2, 2018

Change is Good, Right?

We've been slackers and haven't posted for a long, long time. We kitties are doing fine. Fiona is still with us. She tends to lay low and has found a spot where she likes to sleep. She has also taken to pooping on the floor. Mom doesn't complain. To be blunt, Fiona's poops are small and solid, so the cleanup is easy. The dynamics between Fiona and Cash are confusing. Generally, if Cash gets anywhere near Fiona, Fiona gets defensive. She growls loudly and if she can run, she will run and hide behind the stove. Then Cash will sit right there and keep her from coming out. On the other paw, sometimes mom will find both of them sleeping on her bed. Fiona will be on the pillows and Cash will be at the foot of the bed. Go figure.

Tovah has taken to sleeping in a chair in our uncle's bedroom. She likes to be petted and stroked when she is there, but she still shows no interest in coming into the living room and hanging out with mom and uncle. Cinnamon is all over the house, but she will still run if mom tries to pick her up. She and her mom, Tovah, like to wrestle and play "thundering herd of elephants" in the family room. Tovah just celebrated her 1st birthday on March 1st. Cinnamon will be a year old in September. Mom said Tovah was just a baby herself when she had her first (and only) litter.

Now for the change part alluded to in the title of our post. Our mom is officially unemployed. She has worked at the university for a total of 28 years. The last 22 years were in the same department. Mom went in to work on Friday expecting a normal workday. By 9:30 she was told that her position was being eliminated as of that day! Needless to say, mom felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath her. The very least her supervisor could have done was give her notice that it was coming. She could have planned for that. It still wouldn't have been easy, but we think what happened to was, quite frankly, sh*tty. A lady was there from the HR department when mom was given the news. She gave mom a packet with information about services and what mom's options are. Of course mom's head was spinning and she was in tears, so nothing really registered with her at the moment. She went back to her desk and got her purse and coat and left.

Mom looked over the information she was given once she could think straight. It sounds like she can go into the temp pool and work from there while she looks for another position within the university. Also, she has enough time in that she could take retirement. If she does that, she will have to find work elsewhere. She wishes she could retire permanently, but that isn't in the cards. Mom will get paid until May 17. That gives her a little time to look for something else. But she know that time will pass quickly. Mom is 57 years old and she is wondering if anyone will hire her for office work.

If we could, we would go poop in her former boss's shoes!!!

Purrs and whisker kisses,
Clarissa & Co.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Purrs and Updates

Wow!!! We are halfway through February!!! Things have been fairly quiet on the home front. We did have one noisy day at the house last month. Mom had one of those companies install a new bathtub and wall covers. She was going to get the acrylic tub that fits over the top of the old tub, but it didn't work out that way. There was a lot of rust around the drain and there was concern that it would continue to rust away under the new tub cover. She ended up getting a totally new bathtub. The installer arrived around 9:30 that morning and was at the house until 7:00 that evening. He had to knock the old tiles off of the walls and knock out the old bathtub. It was quite the process but the new tub/walls look great and mom said they are a breeze to clean. That's good for her because every now and then one of us will pee in the tub (or worse!)

Our new additions, Tovah and Cinnamon, are doing well. They are growing, especially Cinnamon. She may end up being bigger than her mom (Tovah). They still spend the majority of their time in the back room of the house. There are large picture windows back there and they can watch the activity that goes on in the back yard. Mom said she might put a couple of bird feeders out so they have more cat t.v. to watch. Cinnamon is venturing into the other parts of the house more so than Tovah. Both are curious, and they watch mom and our uncle, but they still tend to run if either get too close. The first full day they were home with us, mom was able to put the girls in her lap. They pretty much stayed there and slept all day and well into the evening. That's the only time they have fully relaxed in mom's lap. They have been at the house for two months (or will be on February 16.)

Fiona is hanging in there. She is still eating, drinking water, and using the litter box. She spends most of the time sleeping on mom's bed. Even though she growls at some of us, we are glad she is still with us. Mom is too. We do wish that Cash (our huge tabby brother) would leave her alone. Fiona gets so upset with him if she is awake and he comes close to her. Of course, if she runs away he will run after her. She will get behind the stove and growl, hiss, and yell at Cash while he sits at the opening. Yet mom will find both of them sleeping on her bed. They don't get close to each other, but they are sharing the same space. Go figure.

The rest of us are doing well. We take turns snuggling in the recliner with mom. She'll have me on her chest, Sable on her lap to the left, Serendipity, Daisy, or Batman, will lay on her lap to the right. Ginger (who has never been a lap cat) has been laying by mom's feet on the end of the recliner. Basically we become a cat blanket for her.

That's about it for us. We are sending purrs and headboinks to those who need them or want them.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Post from One-Eyed Fiona

Hello everyone. I don't post much, but I'm Clarissa's feisty younger sister. I'm either 14 or 15 years old. I've lived with Clarissa since February 2005. When mom adopted me the shelter said I was either 2 or 3 years old. When I first came to my forever home I was scared and had trust issues. Some of it had to do with only having sight in one eye. I bit mom the first morning I was home because she came up on my blind side! I kinda felt bad about it. It took some time, but I learned to trust and I became quite the lap cat.

But lately I've become grumpy again. I growl and hiss and get angry when any of the other cats get in my space. I sometimes get the same way when mom picks me up. At first mom thought it was because Tovah and Cinnamon joined the family. But they keep to themselves and they don't bother me. Cash has become very bothersome and I think he does it to irritate me. I also think he is vying for a higher position in the cat hierarchy here.

Also, mom recently noticed that my breath stinks. Not like 'cat food breath', but really stinks. I've also started keeping to myself. I have a hiding place under a footstool that is over a floor vent. It's warm and hidden by a long drape so I've been sleeping there a lot. I mean A LOT!
Mom took me to the vet on Monday afternoon for an exam. Those two whippersnappers were going in to get their spay stitches removed. Anymew, I despise going to the vet. I get really ugly when I go to the vet. I growled and hissed, and complained throughout my exam. So here is what mom found out.

(1) I have had a heart murmur for a long time. Mom knew about that. Now I have an irregular heartbeat. The vet said it sounds like a gallop.

(2) My kidneys have shrunk (or shrank) and are failing. That is probably the cause of my bad breath. The same thing happened to Angel Fred. The vet said they go hand in hand (or paw in paw in our case).

(3) I've gone from 8 lbs. to a little over 5 lbs. Now that is over an almost 5 year period. I have been healthy and I stay inside, so mom hasn't taken me to the vet since 2013. Since it upsets me so much, she was okay with this arrangement. I was too.

(4) It's just a matter of time before I will be crossing the Bridge.

The vet recommend against having a blood panel done. I was so upset and I'm so hard to handle, she was afraid I would go into cardiac arrest. And given what she found out with the exam, she said she was sure the results would tell her that my kidney function is very low.

I'm on a prescription diet for now and I'm still showing an interest in food and water. As long as I'm not in pain and I'm getting up and around, mom said she will cherish the time we have. Once my quality of life fades, she will help me cross the Bridge.

Mom is sad, but she accepts the fact that with so many senior cats our time with her is on the short side. I don't know how much time I have left with her. It may be a few weeks or it may be a few months. But I've had such a wonderful, long, and happy life with mom. I'm not ready to say farewell just yet, but I know the time is drawing close.

One-Eyed Fiona