Annie Update

The other day I realized that I haven’t said a lot about Annie lately, and that’s because there isn’t a lot to say, which is good news. The best news, however, is that she is no longer on any medications for colon issues. Her body can do all it needs to do without any assistance anymore, and she is a healthy, happy ten month-old kitten. It was a long road getting to this place, but she is a tough little survivor, and I hope she has a long and very healthy life with us from here on in.

 

Annie

She is one very healthy eater. When dinner is ready and being carried to her eating spot in the upstairs cat room the stairs become the Indy 500 racetrack. She works every night to beat her previous times, squealing the entire way. Cracks me up every night. As is the case with most former ferals meal time is the highlight of the day. I don’t think the cats who have lived outside ever get over the worry that the next meal might not appear, and they make the most of each one that gets placed in front of them. Annie will do damn near anything for food, including trying to take it right from under Minh’s mouth! And the food must be doing her good because her coat is super-soft and sooo wonderful to pet.

P1020635

 

She still loves her feather toys…second only to food in her list of good things in life.

Annie and feather

She will never be a large cat. Her early adventures with parasites prevented her from getting the nutrition she needed and that will keep her on the small side. But she probably weighs in the 7-8 pound range now, and she is getting tall and lanky, quite respectable looking.

P1020657

 

P1020639

 

She still loves sleeping in the cat trees, though she doesn’t fit as easily as she used to! She kinda flops over the edges now. But she’s a happy and healthy member of the family. She’s come a long way from the sick, close-to dead-kitten from last November. An early Christmas gift for us last year, she just keeps getting better.

 

Annie

Right place, right time

She probably doesn’t think she was in the right place at the right time, but she was.

We’re in the midst of one of our trap/neuter/return (TNR) weeks and last night one of the transporters brought in a young black cat in a trap, that we now know to be female. As I took the sheet off of her trap to get a look at her and do paperwork, my adrenaline spiked. Her left eye was a disaster area, with all kinds of yucky-colored fluids flowing out, though no blood. Her eye looked almost sunken in her head. I’m no vet, but I was pretty sure this was bad.

P1020627

 

We have a great vet who was kind enough to talk to us at night, even after her long day. She asked a lot of questions, and I gave the answers as best I could. This was bad, but it wasn’t a life or death emergency, and it could wait until morning. The vet recommended some pain meds for the overnight, however, and we had them on hand.

I’ve given a lot of cats meds in my life, but not too many of them have been feral. Giving meds to a feral cat who is, first of all, completely terrified from having been trapped, and secondly, is in a lot of pain and misery, is…shall we say…challenging. But with the help of another group member, we got it done. We gave her food and water for the night, and some nice fleece to curl up in, and covered her trap with blankets to keep her warm, and said good night.

I woke about 3 am still thinking about the poor creature. We weren’t sure if this was a pre-existing condition or something that happened to her – God forbid- in the process of being trapped. I didn’t see any crusting on the wounded eye, so I was pretty sure the wound was fresh. It happens rarely, but once in a great while a cat is so terrified on being trapped that they hurt themselves flailing around. I was worried that we had, inadvertently, been the source of her injury and pain.

Another kind member of our group took her to the vet’s office in the morning, and it turns out that some other creature, a four-legged one and not us, was the source of her misery. Someone took a really good swipe at her eye. It is trying to heal with all that green and yellow puss and misery, and it may heal. It may not. She may lose it. Only time will tell.

 

P1020629

 

In the meantime, she is going to be staying in our guest room, and hopefully moved into a dog crate tomorrow to give her more space. And I get to practice my skills at putting drops in the eye of a feral cat. It turns out that if you don’t try to scruff her or mess with her in any way, she will let you drop the stuff in her eyes. We’ve come to an agreement about the drops, it seems.

Hopefully she will heal up, or the vet will remove the eye and help her heal that way, and eventually we will get her neutered too. When we’re not trying to put drops in her eyes she is actually pretty calm, and may even be semi-friendly. She’s pretty scared at the moment, but she’ll probably adjust quickly. I don’t know if she’ll ever know how lucky she was to be trapped last night. Without being trapped that eye would have become even more infected and her future uncertain. She was in the right place at the right time last night, even if it doesn’t look like that to her at the moment. We’ll offer her our best hospitality while she is with us, and hope the healing, for her sake, is quick.

Golf balls and dog

Easter Eggs?

For whatever reason, my husband likes to collect golf balls that he finds while out walking dogs. He brings them home and dumps them next to our front porch. Looking at them this morning, I couldn’t help but notice their resemblance to (very badly) hidden Easter eggs. This would be the golf ball  Easter egg hunt for the very young. Happy Easter everyone!

 

Golf balls

 

Golf balls

 

Golf balls and dog

Butterscotch

At Play in the Fields

It is such a gorgeous day today, and we had a nice long break from pet sitting duties in the middle of the day, so off to the fields we went with the dogs. How can you not enjoy watching your dogs run like lunatics and take a dip in the creek?

P1020588

 

Butterscotch

 

Butterscotch

 

Paris

 

Paris and Butterscotch

 

Paris

 

Paris

 

Butterscotch

 

Paris

 

Butterscotch

 

Butterscotch

 

Butterscotch

Martha

Pure Joy Golden Style

Sometimes pet sitting is just a pure joy, and there are few dogs as joyful and affectionate as Goldens. They are grateful for every ounce of attention you send their way, endlessly happy. Can you tell that I’m having a wonderful time with this lovely girl???

 

Golden

 

“Golden retrievers are not bred to be guard dogs, and considering the size of their hearts and their irrepressible joy in life, they are less likely to bite than to bark, less likely to bark than to lick a hand in greeting. In spite of their size, they think they are lap dogs, and in spite of being dogs, they think they are also human, and nearly every human they meet is judged to have the potential to be a boon companion who might, at many moment, cry, “Let’s go!” and lead them on a great adventure.”
Dean Koontz

 

Marthas ball

 

Marthas ball

 

Martha

“The face of a golden retriever feels like home.”
David Rosenfelt, Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure

 

Martha

 

 

The Conversation

Most of the time, when I have to have The Conversation with a client it’s tough, and tears are not unusual. Yesterday, The Conversation took a…shall we say…unexpected turn.

A client is going out of the country for a week with her kids, and their hamster is very old in hamster years. Old as in surprised that it is still alive every morning. I asked what should be done with the poor guy if he passes while they away. My client hadn’t thought about that, but wasn’t pretty sure the kids would want a chance to bury the little guy when they returned.

Well, I worked for a vet years ago. And if you don’t want to know what they do with bodies while they await pickup by the crematorium, stop reading now. Bodies of deceased pets go into the freezer while awaiting pickup. So after talking with my client a couple minutes, I made the suggestion. I could always wrap up the hamster and put him in the freezer.  She thought for a moment and caught me by surprise: “My freezer or yours?” she said. We both had a laugh.

 
I am glad, however, that no one has to have The Conversation with me right now. Butterscotch has been really showing her age lately. She’s a 13 year-old dog with Cushings and arthritis, and none of those things improve as the days go by. Last night, for the first time, she couldn’t get herself up on the bed, and the bed is pretty low to the ground – maybe as high as my knees. It was one of those moments when I realized, yet again, that age is creeping up on her, and I’m not really ready for that. Are we ever?

One of my sisters calls her a sugar face…it’s an accurate description.

Butterscotch in 2010

Butterscotch in 2010

 

Butterscotch

Butterscotch last week

 

That muzzle is getting pretty white these days, and she sleeps a lot more than she used to. Her walks are meanders now, and not the aerobic exercise we used to have.

She still has some juice in her, however, when she really wants something. Food is her first love and every single morning she finds the inner resources to jump up and land her legs on my lower back while I’m making breakfast.  Her arthritis goes out the window if food is involved. She can still climb the stairs to our bedroom, albeit slowly, but she can make it. She still loves her walks, and occasionally gets motivated to move at a good clip. She’s got lots of good days left in her still.

And I’m not going anywhere in the near future, so no one has to have The Conversation with me. I have it with myself occasionally, but I can’t really go there most of the time. Can’t imagine the house without her, or without any of our gang for that matter. I know stuff will happen, and over time, we will lose these creatures we love so much. But not today. And that’s enough for now.

 

As for the hamster, I’m to call Grandpa who will have instructions or have to figure out what to do if the poor guy passes. Works for me. I hope it works for Grandpa.