Tag Archives: cats

Let sleeping cats lie

Cats

The first time I ever got scratched by a cat was in 1966 when I saw one sleeping in the alley by our trash cans in Kingsville TX.

I went to pet it.

Nope.

My wise old grandmother told me as she poured hydrogen peroxide on the wounds:

“Let sleeping cats lie.”

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

All pictures by Russel Ray Photos at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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By now all the cats should be hairless

I live in my own little world

I have two main tasks each day I volunteer at Friends of Cats, Inc.

One is to wash and dry cat beds, towels, blankets, etc. There are four washers and four dryers, all running pretty much 8 hours a day. Each time I put items in a dryer, I clean the lint screen. All the lint screens look like this:

Dryer lint screen

Every. Single. One.

By now all the cats should be hairless.

I’m guessing someone comes in overnight and glues all the hair back on the cats….

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Cats—Where we are now

Cats

Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat & Zoey the Cool CatOn March 20, 2018, Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat came to stay with us, staying until April 12. She was the fattest cat I had ever seen. Zoey the Cool Cat (ZCC) and Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat didn’t really like each other. Both had been queens of their respective houses for a decade, so getting those two queens to tolerate each other was a chore.

After Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat went back to her home, ZCC’s personality changed. Zoey the Cool Cat and her red ringShe no longer played fetch in the morning with her red rings, no longer jumped up on the beds and chairs, no longer came into the office to visit me. She no longer enjoyed her favorite sleeping spots in the house, preferring to spend about 23 hours a day lying on the floor in front of the refrigerator, which made it difficult to get anything out of the refrigerator.Zoey the Cool Cat plopped in front of the refrigerator

I thought she simply was sad that Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat had left, notwithstanding what I thought was their intense dislike of each other.

When ZCC’s previous demeanor didn’t return, and she gained six pounds in six weeks, I started getting worried. Jim and I thought she felt bloated.

She didn’t like to be picked up anymore, even hissing at me several times as I was picking her up. It was as if she was trying to tell me that she hurt when I picked her up. No longer jumping up onto beds and chairs…. Perhaps more hurting?

Zoey the Cool CatZCC also was excessively licking her rearmost four nipples, so much so that there is no fur around them anymore. Her tummy was bare. I took her to a vet and he diagnosed her with psychogenic alopecia…. overgrooming or psychological baldness due to stress, and that she would probably work her way out of it. She didn’t.

I took her a vet hospital and didn’t really get any additional information, yet her conditions remained.

I began to wonder if Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat had something that ZCC had caught. Perhaps FIV or FELV.

I asked a Realtor friend with whom I had been doing business as a home inspector for 15 years where she took her pets and all her foster dogs. She recommended a vet hospital near her, and I took ZCC there. They took x-rays and ultrasounds, as well as blood, poop, and pee samples, and called me a couple of days later with a preliminary diagnoses: borderline diabetic. The x-rays and ultrasounds showed a significant layer of fat, which made her feel bloated.

The vet told me about diet change, weekly blood lettings, and daily insulin shots that might be required. I told her that neither Jim nor I were equipped mentally or physically to take weekly blood samples from ZCC or give her daily insulin shots, and that if she needed those, we would have to surrender her to long-term care or end her life.

The vet wanted another blood sample to ensure that the preliminary diagnoses was accurate and not a result of ZCC being stressed from simply visiting a new vet.

A couple of days after the second visit, the vet called to confirm the preliminary diagnoses. ZCC was borderline diabetic. The vet thought that since the condition was borderline, we could control it with a change in diet. No more Friskies dry or canned food, and no more Temptations treats. ZCC was going on a Hill’s W/D prescription diet. It’s expensive, about $10 a pound for dry food and $6 a pound for canned food. Lobster isn’t that expensive!

ZCC started her new diet on August 20. Fortunately, she didn’t turn up her nose at the new food, so I gave all her old food to Friends of Cats where I had just started volunteering on August 18.

Have I noticed any difference in ZCC’s demeanor or weight? Indeed I have! And it’s good!

After just two days on the diabetic diet, ZCC came into the bedroom at 3:00 a.m. (cats!), jumped up on the bed, plumped herself down on the pillow by my head, and proceeded to wake me up with her loud purring. She had not done that in four months!

Eventually she left but came in again at dawn (yep, still a cat), jumped up on the bed again, and proceeded to wash my hair for me. Again, something she had not done in the previous four months!

And her fur is growing back on her tummy!

Zoey the Cool CatZCC is making use of all her previous sleeping spots, including jumping up on chairs and sofas. Slowly but surely, she is losing weight, down to 16.2 pounds as of this post. She does not feel as bloated as she once did, and I can even feel the bones in her rear legs again. Her personality has perked up, and yesterday she even ran down the hallway with me chasing after her. We have not done that in the past four months.

She seems to be happier, and doesn’t cry or hiss at me when I pick her up.

Her happiness means that Jim and I are happy.

I am a fan of this new diet, notwithstanding its cost.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Zoey the Cool Cat has a visitor, but she’s not too happy about it

I live in my own little world

Jim’s brother had a stroke yesterday and is in the hospital, which meant that there was a lonely scared kitty up at his place.

Ergo, J&R Rescue Service went to work and rescued Ninja today.

Two pictures of Ninja in our laundry room chowing down.

Ninja

Ninja

Ninja will be staying with us for a while; not sure how long, though.

Zoey the Cool Cat was not too happy whereas Ninja was, like, oh, another cat. Ninja once was an outdoor cat so she’s probably seen lots of cats. Zoey the Cool Cat, on the other hand, has never been an outdoor cat, so at the age of 11½, this is her first up-close-and-personal experience with another feline.I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Out & About

I went to Julian, California, for their Apple Days the weekend of September 24 and discovered three cool stores. The Warm Hearth is in my blog post here. The second one I want to talk about is The Birdwatcher. How can anyone resist going into a store called The Birdwatcher?

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The first home that I remember was where we lived when I was 5 in 1960. It had a row of windows under the eaves to let light into the living room. Sadly, birds would fly into the windows and knock themselves out, dying an agonizing death on the ground below. I was picking up dead birds every morning. I resolved to never have windows that would kill birds. Of course, now that I’m a little older, I realize that all windows have the potential to kill birds. You can help our feathered friends by using WindowAlert. Pretty neat.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Rick & Brenda Campbell own The Birdwatcher, and Brenda kindly gave me permission to take interior photos for my blog post here. Thank you, Brenda!

A beautiful selection of wind chimes just in case you don’t have any songbirds at your place.

Birds like taking baths. I mean, who doesn’t?

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Bird cards to send your family and friends.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Real honest-to-goodness books about birds for your own personal library.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Cute hangings for your yard.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

They have a special wall in the store where they display bird pictures taken by anyone and everyone. All you have to do is send them a picture!

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Bird houses and bird feeders of all shapes and sizes to help us care for our feathered friends.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Proof outside that their bird feeders work:

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Hot pads, coffee cups, and hand towels.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Birds, nests, and eggs for inside, without the resulting mess to clean up.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Shirts and socks. No pants? No underwear? Sad.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Beautiful and whimsy wall art.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Dishes.

The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Of course, I came home with something. I could have come home with a lot more but I was in the Corolla instead of the 18-wheeler.

Barn owl from The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

And if there are birds around, well, you know there has to be a cat around, too. Here’s The Birdwatchers indoor kitty:

Indoor kitty at The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

Indoor kitty at The Birdwatcher in Julian, California

As soon as I told her that I was going to make her an Internet star, she gave me that look in the first photo and then curled up and pretended she was asleep. Yeah, right.

I was carrying my new video recorder around with me and got a short video of the many hummingbirds hanging out. I think The Birdwatcher even has more hummingbirds than the San Diego Zoo!

If you need anything at all relating to birds, stop by The Birdwatcher in Julian, California.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

The Squirrels are beating the Rabbits, 4-2

I live in my own little world

On June 26, 1999, Jim and I closed on our first home. We were celebrating 5 years together. Although it was much too big for two people—11141 Valley Lights Drive, El Cajon CA

3,984 square feet on 1.83 acres of land with a 45,000-gallon swimming pool and a 15,000-gallon spa

—we probably would still be living there if Enron of Houston had been not so greedy….

In June 2000 our gas & electric bill was $4,700, a thousand dollars higher than our monthly mortgage. We never thought prices would come down so we decided to sell. We closed escrow on the sale on June 26, 2001, exactly two years to the day after we bought it. It wasn’t until December 2001 that the world found out that Enron had been manipulating the energy markets west of the Mississippi River. After Enron’s bankruptcy, energy prices here in San Diego did come back down.

That was the largest house and the largest yard we have had. We rented a house from 2001 to 2002 while looking for a house to buy. We settled on one that was 1,588 square feet on ¼ acre. We stayed there for five years when we decided to downsize, which basically meant going someplace without a yard. My poor body just wasn’t into yard maintenance anymore.

We lived in condominiums from 2007 to 2017, one of them 50 feet up in the air, before deciding that we’d rather be back on solid ground. Our new home, which we moved into on July 21, 2017, is 1,440 square feet and has a yard which has not been landscaped. So I have a little work to do there, but the yard is not too large so I think it is manageable, especially since I’m going to switch to container gardening.

We are in the boondocks, so we have a lot of wildlife out here, and I think container gardening will be less disruptive to their way of life. The living room looks out on a corner which is conducive to watching the wildlife. That corner is where I feed and water the wildlife. This morning I got a picture of four squirrels and two rabbits sharing among themselves.

It's 4-2, squirrels over rabbits

Since baseball season is nearing an end, we’ll say the score is 4-2, Squirrels over Rabbits. But it’s just the top of the second inning.

Even got a picture of a rabbit taking a bath. Who knew?

Rabbit bath

I also had two unknown birds stop by this morning for bird baths, so I guess I need a bird feeder, too.

Unknown bird and squirrel

I don’t know what kind of bird that is, but it’s quite beautiful with its long, curved beak.

Unknown bird

I have named the corner “Wildlife Corner.”

With our new window tinting, I can now get right up against the window because the wildlife outside cannot see into the house. It will make for great picture taking, and once I get the living room floor cleaned, I’ll set up my camera on a tripod so I can take videos. These squirrels and rabbits are just way too much fun to watch.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post