Hiro’s summer gazebo

Well, Hiro’s summer gazebo is up and furnished. He has food, water, shelter, cat bed, cat grass, and catnip to entertain him, and I’ll bring a lawn chair in too so I can take a book out there to read and hang out with him some. He won’t be out there all the time by any means, but some time each day will help him…I hope. He needs to be outside, and whether this will be enough for him or not is yet to be seen. But we’re trying!

And just in case you’re wondering if it was as easy to put together as the video implied…NOT!!

Hiros house


Hiro eating


Cat grass







Will the Purrfect Playhouse be…perfect?

Tomorrow’s project just came via UPS this afternoon. Hiro, our wanderer, is just nuts being inside the house. As in peeing on the counters and attacking other cats. I don’t mind letting him be an indoor/outdoor cat (no lectures please) but he pees in the neighbor’s shed, all over their equipment, and that’s really not an option. We’ve tried playtime inside, Prozac, walking him on leash, training him to do tricks…and nothing is really as much to his liking as being outside. He especially likes killing things, but I’m not willing to help him with that one.

What we did order him was the Purrfect Playpen, a new containment product, 5′ x 15 ‘ with a roof. And we ordered him a dog house to go inside, with a flat roof he can jump on. But he can also go inside for a cat bed and water dish. And we have an old potting bench with three levels for him to climb on and hang out under. Tomorrow’s task…and maybe Friday’s depending…is to assemble all of this so he can have a summer (and probably fall and spring) home. He’ll be in indoor/outdoor cat again…just not free to roam the neighborhood (or kill bunnies).


(Isn’t he gorgeous??)

The video the company posted about this new Purrfect Playhouse shows it being easy to assemble, something I can do. I’ll let you know! It really does need some furniture, however. The poor cat in the video looks mucho stressed not having anyplace to hide!

Here’s hoping it makes him happier. And that is is as easy to put together as it looks in the video…somehow I doubt it!



Blackie’s Playday

For those of you who may be new to the story, I am caring for a cat we trapped who had a lacerated eye and wounds. She’s been hanging around in a dog crate for several weeks now, and is doing very well. Eye looks better (believe me!) and she has been spayed. Wounds are healed though her tail still looks funny from the shave!

She is doing so well with me, even for a year-old feral, that she got some freedom today, and got to explore in the upstairs cat room.

Turns out she loves toys, which I knew from her crate time. The cat dancer is definitely her favorite, though it makes me nervous to play with it and her. I keep hearing Ralphie’s mother in Christmas Story, commenting on Ralphie’s desire for a Beebe gun: “You’ll poke your eye out!” Trying not to poke Blackie’s eye when we play together!



She has also discovered cat beds for the first time in her life, and she likes them!





And she wouldn’t be a cat if she didn’t check out a box, a Cat Stacker in this case.  (You can see the “lion cut” of her tail in this one, where she had a couple big wounds.)


Blackie’s having a great adventure today…the good kind, and not the kind that beat her up so badly!


The Blessing of Butterscotch 2


A statement made about me when I was in 6th grade, and a gift to me when I was in my 30’s continue to define me in many ways. My sixth grade report card said: “Debbie (I went by Debbie then) is little miss responsibility herself.” It was meant as a compliment, I’m sure, but I’m equally sure that isn’t something that should be said about a sixth grader. Still, it was true, and continues to be true to this day.

The gift was a stuffed Energizer Bunny, maybe two feet high, drum and all. Approaching sixty, I don’t feel like the Energizer Bunny anymore, but folks tell me they want my energy all the time.

I do my very best to forget both the sentence and the gift, though they clearly have stuck with me for decades. Butterscotch, however, sees me differently and that’s a blessing.

Butterscotch is really slowing down. She’s fine, but she’s nearing 14, and as I’ve written before, she is an old lady dog, and she can’t do all the things she did even a year ago. She has really been struggling the last couple weeks so we went to visit the vet yesterday. Her vet confirms what I suspected, which is an increase in arthritis, a decrease in range of motion for her back legs, and some pain. Enough that it is time for a daily dose of NSAIDS as an assist to the joint supplement she has taken for several years. It may be my imagination, but even after just 24 hours, she looks more comfortable, and that makes be happy.

(And as an aside, she has not lost her ability to look sweetly and longingly at people until they give her a treat. She has this one down. She snookered the vet multiple times plus the vet tech and the reception staff at the vet’s yesterday and made out like a bandit on the treats.)

Butterscotch’s slowing down, however, makes me slow down, and that’s probably a good thing. Walks are ambles…meanders…more about stopping and sniffing the poop and pee and whatever else is on the ground, than it is about racing from here to there, which is more my speed. She doesn’t need an Energizer Bunny at the other end of the leash. She needs someone who is willing to meander with her, and wait for her to sniff and take care of business. That’s a challenge for me, but probably a good one.

We’ve had some adventures the last couple days with a couple of our staff out sick and trying to shuffle schedules and make everything happen has been just slightly stressful, the kind of stuff that sorta keeps me up nights. Which makes me not want to walk Butterscotch, but it is the best part of her day…well, maybe second to meals…but she loves her walk time. So out we went, and we were out for about 20 minutes or so. We didn’t cover a lot of territory, but we did enjoy an absolutely glorious day, and Butterscotch got to check out the smells and see who else has been out recently. It seemed to satisfy her, and it slowed me down and got me thinking about things other than staffing adventures.

Butterscotch has brought many blessings with her since she joined us a few years ago. This is just her latest. Not being able to move fast for her eventually gets me to slow down too. And while I’d prefer not to sniff the things she does, taking the time to store the Energizer Bunny and little miss responsibility, and smell a a few flowers instead would probably do something good for my blood pressure, and probably my mood too.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Art: Dog and Cat

Art: “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.”

Here are two “pieces of art” from among our crew…creatures created by hands other than mine, who are beautiful, appealing, and of more than ordinary significance, at least to me. Don’t they look like they are models in an art class – sitting for painting or drawing students -in the process of being the subject of someone else’s art?






“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
Edgar Degas

This post created in response to this week’s photo challenge.


The Blackie Conundrum

It is happening again. Years ago I volunteered with PAWS taking care of cats who were waiting for forever homes. Within six months or so three of them found their forever homes chez moi. Now I volunteer with Derry Township Community Cats and Annie wiggled her way into our home, as cat #7. Blackie seems to be working on doing the same.

For those of you following her story she is making good progress. She had her spay surgery last week, and the vet was prepared to take out her eye if needed, but decided it wasn’t necessary. She gets to keep her eye! She has a tiny but of vision in it, probably blurry, but something nonetheless, and it continues to heal up. It may not look like it, but it really is improving.


She gets eye drops five times a day right now. Regular antibiotic eye drops twice a day, plus some really cool ones that the vet had made up special. They pulled some of her blood and spun it down into a serum and that serum is what goes into her eyes three times a day. Her eyes are no longer dripping gunk, so that’s nice to see.

The vet thinks she is a year or so old, though the smart little girl managed to avoid getting pregnant, even though she has been through at least one heat. My first thought was that a cat of this age is too old to bring in, but she is working hard on convincing me otherwise. She loves to be pet and she purrs endlessly. She actually lets me open her eye and put drops in five times a day without hissing, spitting or swatting at me, generally behaving better than any of my non-feral cats would. She plays with toys, has a great appetite and is generally a happy camper. If she is lobbying for a forever home that is inside, she’s doing a good job.

I don’t know what will happen with her yet…we really don’t need an eighth cat. Seven has been a bit of a stretch and stress levels might rise above anything we could manage if we add another one. But something tells me she is going to find a home. If nothing else, I forgot to ask the vet to ear-tip her (the universal sign that a community cat has been neutered) so perhaps the universe (and Blackie) are trying to tell me something.


(She’s cute, isn’t she??! <g>)