Friday, November 30, 2012

Keeping busy is the best medicine.

I know it's best to keep busy when you have sadness in your heart. I am so thankful for my five remaining cats and to have the job of caring for other owner's cats as I fill my days going house to house. I have four beautiful cats to care for today and one is diabetic with two insulin shots given daily. She is a sweet-heart and lovingly allows me to do my work.
That is, of course, if she has her treats first.

I am so touched by all that you have said about dear little Cali and your heart-felt condolences. I wanted to share this photo of her when she was 3 months old. You can see that she was quite the character and loved to join in even when I washed the dishes. She had so much to tell me.

She was an indoor-outdoor cat for 16 years but spent all her time in our yard enjoying the changing seasons.

I wish I could thank each and everyone of you personally for your comments. They really helped me although I cried after reading each one. Tears are healing, though. She will be missed every day for a very long time. Even her yowling at night is missed,  if you can believe that. It will take a long time to accept that she is gone but I know we did what had to be done. At dinner time the cats always gather around for a plate of something special while we eat. The absence of Cali joining them, yowling her approval while sending the hair standing up on the back of your neck,  tears me apart but I know, in time, it will be ok. Thank you again.

The Lanark Animal Welfare Society meeting Wednesday night went well, in general. There were a few out-bursts and it went over-time but, in all,  I came away feeling better about their future. Some of the towns will be paying more money for their pound contracts in the new year. Pound contracts bring in 50% of the animals to this shelter. The other half are give-ups. Fundraising will continue for them and the staff at the shelter have all taken a wage cut. There will be news articles with the latest from the meeting and I will keep you posted on their situation in the next few months. So, for now, our home-less cats and dogs will have a place to go where they will be cared for and given a second chance at a good life. We have adopted
Mr. Ed, Annie and Audrey from this shelter. And years back we adopted Sassy who passed away sometime ago at the age of 17. All beautiful cats who needed homes. We will always support the Lanark Animal Shelter and hope the best for them.

We will gather as a family  tomorrow to celebrate my youngest daughter, Allie's, 26th birthday. She, too, is very sad at the loss of our Cali. Allie was only seven when we found this little kitten with her siblings in a box in a ditch.  Can you even imagine this?  All three of the kids were on the phone with me yesterday and we shared some tears. Allie's partner, Jon and my son-in-law, Mike also have birthday's coming up very soon so we decided we will celebrate them all together this weekend.  "Keep busy, eat fattening food, shop"'s a voice in the back of my head. We'll have some fun memories of this crazy cat to share at the dinner. "God, I miss her so much."
Sunday we are all going to get our trees at the tree-farm across the road from our home.
Riley will love this and then hot chocolate..of course! It's a busy time of year.

hugs, Deb

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our little Cali cat

Very peacefully, Cali crossed the bridge today. She had a difficult morning and we made the heart-wrenching decision to let her go. We stayed with her and then brought her home. She will be taken to our property this weekend.
It's my daughter, Allie's birthday today. I'm an emotional wreck.

I'll be back soon. Just need some time.

Have a wonderful weekend and hug your cats for me.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

some updates

It is dark before 5pm now. The ferals are given only dry food as the soft will freeze. I give them plenty and two different types. I hope they are ok and can stay warm, somewhere. I haven't seen one in a whole week now. I have no idea what time of day they venture out to eat but they are eating. Now that it has snowed I see their tracks. I pray every night for these cats.

I am almost finished bunny-sitting and have not as yet captured their cuteness for you. The little beggars are too quick and the pictures do not do them justice. I'll keep at it.
I spent a good while chasing after Boo last night as he was not ready to go back to his little condo when it was time for me to leave. I never knew how fast a rabbit can hop and how quickly they disappear as you try to scoop them up. They are masters at wedging themselves between furniture leaving it impossible to reach them. Eventually, he tired out and headed back to his home and jumped right in the cage. I was so happy that I actually treated him to an extra yogurt drop. I expect he'll do the same dang thing today now.

Months back I mentioned to you that our local animal shelter was in dire straits. They were not sure whether they would be able to keep their doors open to our stray and homeless animals in the new year.
I will be at a meeting tonight to hear the discussions on this very important matter.

Cali is doing well today. I stood over her  to watch her pee, yes I'll do that, and was surprised to see a normal amount. This is such a relief.  I guess the meds are doing the trick. I prefer the holistic route but sometimes the strong meds are the only way to go.

hugs, Deb

Monday, November 26, 2012

Let's take a peak

When I drive around I always notice beautiful houses. There are sections of our town that have the most beautiful, big old Victorian homes. I love to drive by them and pick my favorite. At Christmas, it is magical to see the lights and all the decorations that only enhance the beauty of these homes.  I would never want to pay to heat them during our winters, though. Their bills must be shocking. I just want to go inside and have tea.

At Christmas, I love the little house ornaments; the cottages all decked out for Christmas. If you can peak inside the windows, all the better. If they light up....well, that's the best.

We have a large house that sits near our Christmas tree that lights up and shows off the Christmas activities going on inside. I don't think you ever get too old to be intrigued and delighted with an ornament like that.   Since our tree won't be up until next week though,  I'll have to show it to you then.

But let's take a look at one of my little houses. It sits on my step-back cupboard.
I love the little presents sitting outside the window.
How about that dog on the roof that's as big as a camel?

Let's take a peak inside the windows. There is lots of activity going on inside as preparations are being made by Santa and his elves. Can't you feel the excitement?

Mrs. Claus is on her tip-toes reaching the tree top. Santa looks like he is practicing his "HO HO HO's" or maybe he's saying "Martha....get a move on, will ya!"

Little house of my favorite things.

                                                Now let's take a peak at the woodstove...
Cali is resting and more comfortable tonight. I took this photo just as she joined 3 others, Lily, Ed and Annie around the fire after she  had a successful visit to the litter-box. The antibiotic (Convenia)  that she received will work for 2 weeks (hopefully). Her appetite is good and she enjoyed a bit of tuna as a snack. Excuse the dirty floor around the wood-stove as this thing is working over-time these days.
Thank you for your nice comments for Cali today.

"Where's Audrey, you ask?
Well....right behind me."

"Hi Folks" 

I am going to send you off now to visit a blog that will delight you so much this Christmas.
If you love little decorated houses during the holidays please pop over to take in the beauty of Manuela's Christmas glitter-house mantel.  
It is beyond beautiful.

                                                                 hugs, Deb

Winter is here & our little Cali cat

It snowed all night and Audrey just noticed. She is totally fascinated with the sparkle and shine of the fresh snow.

I am just back from the vet clinic with Cali. It's odd that I had just posted about her and then she had a bad night and is now straining in the litter-box. She had a blood test awhile back that showed deterioration of her kidneys so I am told it is expected that her kidneys are failing. Our vet gave her a shot of antibiotics which should help for 2 weeks so hoping that her kidneys will do the trick for now. I know our time with her is short but she is eating, drinking, enjoying her cardboard box by the fire and getting around. If we can settle her kidneys she will have another Christmas with us. I'm hoping for that at this point. It's all I've got.  I'll keep you posted on how she is doing.

Have a fun day and if you are in Ontario...enjoy the snow. Now that Cali is settled, I'm off to bunny-sit.

"I asked her....she said "Naughty."
hugs, Deb

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shopping around the house

I have vowed to not buy anything new for Christmas decorating this year.
I am shopping at home and it's amazing how much fun it is just to use what you have and use it a different way.   The evergreen is off our tree in the yard. Absolutely free and beautiful.

 and I have changed my center-piece again. I'm a woman...I can do that.
I think this one is my favorite. I'm using some of my china this year.
I left the top plate for Christmas candy.
I'm keeping it very simple.

Audrey..."Hi Folks."
You didn't think she wasn't here, did ya?

Audrey likes when I change things up. 
I'll be baking pumpkin loaves and muffins this week for the freezer.
These are a big hit over Christmas.

The old cabinet left today and will now hold my daughter's china.
I'm happy I didn't have to sell it. I wanted to pass it down. 

The town is looking very festive now. On the day of the parade everyone decorates the outside of their home. I'm going to show you in a later post how beautiful our town looks right now. It is
'lit up like a Christmas tree' downtown.

I came across this photo taken last Christmas of our handsome Mr. Ed. sitting with our kitchen tree.

I just love this old man.
Looks like Audrey is already bored with decorating.
It's time to get out the cat toys.

I said "farewell" to Dominique today but she is booked in again soon so I will be able to give her a big Christmas hug.

She is such a darling cat.  
I think Santa needs to leave her a little red mouse. ;-)
hugs, Deb 

I love a parade

It was say the least. We gathered here for pizza and pop and a bottle for Bradley before heading out into the cold. Look at this armful of cuteness. He was very interested in our spandrel.

We walked down the street to watch the Santa Claus Parade once again. It is tradition in this family. We have taken in 23 Christmas parades in this little town. Riley and Bradley were all bundled up and Riley was excited to take in the lights, music and of course, to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.
They did not disappoint. They were jolly and fat,  and while Jingle Bells blared threw the speakers, they waved in our direction as they went by. Riley screamed with delight, "Look...It's Santa",  as she waved and jumped in her daddy's arms.  A precious moment for me, I'll tell ya.
Then back home for hot chocolate with miniature marshmallows and some snacks in front of the wood-stove. Oh yes, and some dancing.

Did I mention that Bradley slept through the whole thing? Uh huh! Oh, he is just too adorable. All the good photos of the parade are on video. 

Now on to cats...

Kitchen Santa made an appearance today. Once he is placed on the island I get in the Christmas baking mode.
Cali takes this picture taking very seriously.

It is hard to believe when I look at this face that she is 19 years old  and not well. She still looks like a youngun' to me but it is very clear that time is taking its' tole on her. She now has feline dementia. She is comfortable; still enjoys her meals and her favorite chair. She was never a cats cat. She was a loner but held a high position amongst the crew. She has cat-titude and was always unpredictable with her response to attention.  She was frustrating but comical and we all love her dearly. She is the last of the 5 cats that grew up with my kids. That alone makes her very special to us.

Here are some signs of Feline Dementia
1. Loud or odd vocalization.
2.Loss of litter box training.
3. Lack of self-grooming.
4.Increased agitation, especially at night.
5.Sleeping more than usual.
6. Irritable and cranky.
7.Decreased appetite.

The first sign is usually the loud vocalization and that is what we find happening with Cali.
She will sound distressed and it is always in the wee hours of the morning. Her sound can wake you from a deep sleep and have you thinking you have just been transported into the middle of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It is very disturbing.  But then one call of her name and she stops.
I get up and turn the bathroom tap on for her to have a drink and then she predictably saunters off down the hall to continue her sleep. The rest of the time she is fine. I, on the other hand, walk around daily with dark circles under both eyes.

So, if you are finding that your cat is experiencing this disease, please make life as comfortable as you can for her. Changing anything in their routine can be very disturbing for them. Keep life simple, predictable and hold them close. I have found Cali to be more affectionate now than ever in her 19 years with us. When I hold her close now I feel her need to be loved and appreciated. And she is, for sure.

Then buy yourself a good pair of ear-plugs.

hugs, Deb

Friday, November 23, 2012

Planning the cookie tins & wascally wabbits.

Our Santa Claus Parade is tomorrow and starts just down the street from our home. Riley loves it and Bradley, well, he'll love the lights,  I guess. I'm hoping lots of family will join us.

Our weather is about to turn cold so I have stocked up on dry food for the ferals.  I also have some food that was donated by someone and I appreciate that very much. The tough months are just ahead of us now but our seasons have been so different lately that I'm hoping for a warmer winter. I always worry so much about the wild-life and the feral cats.
                           "Let's Bake"
It's time to start thinking about what we want to have in our cookie tins this Christmas. I make a few different cookies and loaf cakes. My sister bakes all the squares and sells them in Christmas tins along with her famous meat pies. She has been baking for other people for years now. She is that good. "Scrumpdillyishus"

Here's one of my cookie recipes you might want to try...
                                         Moravian Cookies
c - cup, tsp - teaspoon 
1/4c butter
1/2c warmed molasses
1/4c brown sugar
1/8 tsp allspice
1/3 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 7/8c pastry flour
1 pinch of nutmet
1 pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together the butter and warmed molasses. Add the sugar, allspice, soda and salt.
Sift together the flour, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cinnamon. Mix well together. Wrap and refrigerate for 10 days.

After wrapping in tin-foil, I then placed this in a plastic bag before putting into the fridge.
Bring to room temperature, roll the dough thinner and then cut each cookie. Bake in a 375F oven for 10 minutes.

These come out looking like your grandma's molasses cookies.

The Wilson box has been replaced already with a white plate of the evergreen branches and a scented candle. It was just a wee bit too big for the table. I have other decorative plans for the box.
You wanted to meet the bunnies and those wascally wabbits have other ideas. They are not easy to photograph and I think I am just used to catching the moment with the feline subject. So, "patience, please" and I will do my best before they have me pulling my hare out. 

Thanks to an afternoon of Audrey snoozing with Aunt Lily,  I managed to get quite a bit done without interruptions.

hugs, Deb

Starting the day

Up too early thanks to Cali & Ed. At 19, Cali has signs of cat dementia and roams the house early in the morning calling out. "Hellooooooo.....anybody there?"  Once fed, she settles down for the day. Ed came upstairs to have a drink of water from the bathroom parfait glass and clomps his way around sounding like someone hammering the wood floors. It is 6 am.

Downstairs to make coffee and feed the lions.

The sun is just coming up. Across the road is a tree-farm where we choose our Christmas tree.
Lily waits for a bit of milk when I make the coffee.

Once fed, the grooming of kitten begins.
I have a busy day ahead so this might be good to get an early start.
I am off to feed and care for today's charges, bunnies included. Must not forget to add carrots to the cat-bag. Boo and Peppers favorite treat is cole-slaw.

I have shopping for Christmas to do and I try to do as much as I can locally. I prefer shopping in the small towns than in the big box stores. And, I must get this cabinet moved out of my hall-way before...
 Looks like I might be too late.

Here comes the sun.
Wishing everyone a fabulous day.
hugs, Deb

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wilson's Tomatoes

 The sun-puddles are being appreciated on this cold November day. The cats follow them around until 1pm where they settle. In these photos, I'm sitting on the floor emptying out a drawer from the old cupboard.
I have an audience, as usual.  How do we collect so much junk?  I like what Oprah always said.."Only keep the things that bring you joy." I'm on that path. Audrey finds me fascinating.

"You look younger from up here."
"Zip it, Audrey."

"She bores me to tears."

I filled the Wilson's Tomatoes box with branches from our tree in the yard. It's a little big for this table but I like it and will leave it there for awhile, at least until the Santas come out . Audrey will be spittin' for days if she tries to eat it.

It's kind of fun finding a little treasure that has your family name on it. Even half a label is pretty exciting.
I can't complain, I got it for FREE. "Thank's Karen."
 "Oh, comes trouble."
One bite and she backed off. I tell ya, she's no dummy.

She seems satisfied to give it the 'death stare'.

I was given instructions today to care for a beautiful tuxedo cat that is diabetic and needs 2 insulin shots daily. She is a sweetheart and I am sure all will go fine. She lives with 3 other beauties who have a life that all cats dream of. Very loved.
I enjoyed spending time with Dominique today. Some of my kitty-clients are so special to me as they have been in my care for years now. Dominique is one of them. We go waaaaaay back....
Carrots and lettuce are bagged up as a little treat for my bunnies this week. I promise to photograph them.
Candles are lit for all my American friends as they celebrate a Happy & Peaceful Thanksgiving.

I'm joining for HOME.
hugs, Deb