Category Archives: My Pet Stories

StupidCat – Update

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No.  No, he did not learn a thing.  This is him, this morning…. (he’d been banned from going outside for the last two days; not to teach him – cause I don’t think cats really learn that way, but because I was mad!  Mad at him, for scaring me!)  Look at his face – look closely.
 
Maybe you can see it better in this close-up…. see how his mouth is open?  Yeah – he’s yelling at me because I moved the porch swing, and he’s up there on top of it, and he realizes he can’t make it to the roof from there now!  Dingledore.
 
 
 
I love this cat.   I really do.  If I didn’t, I’d let him climb all over the roof, come what may.  However, his lack of appreciation for this love and concern of mine just irritates the waddin’ out of me!! 

StupidCat (one word!)

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This is my cat.
 
 
 
  
This is my cat on the roof.
 
 
Any questions??
 
So, I’m sitting on the back patio, enjoying a cuppa joe and a magazine.  The animals are out there with me.  The cat likes to hop up on the table, then onto the canopy of the porch swing.  He was sitting up there, watching the gardeners work out in the common area.  I guess he got a wild hair or something, because he’s never tried this before, but suddenly I hear scrambling and scritching, so I look up from my reading and he is pulling himself up onto the roof!   Here’s his tail, just disappearing around the bend from where he hopped up……
Obviously I need to pull the swing farther away from the house, so he won’t do that again!  Because I knew – I knew – he wouldn’t be able to get back down.  What is it with cats??!  And sure enough… he’s wandering all over the roof, meowing and yowling…. but not coming back down.  He was all the way out front when I got that shot of him going up the peak – that’s up to the 2nd floor – (yeah, of course I went in and got my camera!  I’ve gotta document my life!!)  I tried and tried to get him to go back to where he started and jump back down on the swing’s canopy…uh-huh….as if, right?!  He’s a cat
 
So, I wait, and watch.  But he’s starting to get stressed, and probably hot….it was pretty overcast yesterday (you can see the greyness of the sky) but still, it was probably nearing 80 (F) and we have dark grey asphalt roof shingles, so I  imagine it was pretty warm up there.  He is now wandering around, eyes large, mouth open and panting…so I am beginning to panic just a bit.  I finally got him to hop down to a little spot out front where we have a little roof cover over a window that’s a bit lower than the main roof, and I drug out our massively heavy ladder and plucked him down.  I know he was happy to be off, but I betcha he’d do it again today, don’t you?  Well, we’re having a lovely thunder storm today, but when it stops raining, I believe I’ll go out and move that swing away from the house!

Kimba the White Lion is his name

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Does anyone besides me remember this cartoon?  Alan thinks I’m nutso, but I swear I used to watch it as a kid.  I’ve seen "Kimba" stuff for sale on ebay, so at least I know it existed…. anyway, that is where my lovely kitten got the name Kimba. (you can look back and find a Photo Album titled Kimba if you want a look)  Well, he is now 18 years old (and he’s been an outdoor cat more often than indoors!) but I think he is finally on his 9th life.  In fact, after all he’s been thru, I’ve often suspected that he’s actually on a borrowed life – maybe 10th or 11th at this point!  He has long fluffy white hair, and we’ve never had to brush him because he did a wonderful job of keeping himself tidy – even when he lived with the dogs out in the dog house, with straw bedding to keep them warm in the snowy winters, and living in the mud and muck of the horsey acre, he always looked beautiful.  For about the last 12 years, he’s lived with my parents. Wow, I didn’t realize until now how he’s been with them longer than I had him after I rescued him!  Huh.  I took him there when I moved back in when Alan and I were separated, and when we (Alan and I) moved out of state and into an apartment, I didn’t want to drag the poor guy into a city with busy streets and all.  I always intended to get him back after we found a house, but by then Kimba was comfortably ensconced into my parent’s home and into their hearts as well.  The last couple years, he’s spent much less time outdoors and much more time curled up on my parent’s bed or in my mom’s lap.  In all these years, tho, I’ve always been his favorite.  He always comes running when  I go over (which is often) and he will do anything to climb up onto my shoulder – something he does with no one else.  You see, when I had him on the acre, twice a day I would go out to feed the horses, and as soon as I came out the back door he would  jump on top of the dog house and from there onto my shoulder.  You have to understand that it was always the same – up onto the right side, nearest the dog house, then across to the left shoulder where he would drape himself and mercilessly knead my shoulder on the "ride" out to the barn.  It was fine in the winter when I was wearing my heavy parka – you can still see the nearly new look of the right shoulder, compared with the nearly shredded shoulder on the left.  Summer was a different matter – I have a wonderful network of spider-webby white scars covering my left shoulder!  At the barn I dropped him off into the grain bin, where he’d nearly always find a mouse.  After the feeding he’d walk on up to the house under his own power… unless he was still enjoying his ‘mouse game’.  Lately, about the last 6 months, we’ve seen a real decline in poor ol’ Kimmy.  Like, he can’t seem to retract his claws easily, and they are always getting stuck in stuff.  Like my shoulder.  Which is way uncool.  Also, he hasn’t been keeping himself tidy, and he took to growling and nipping if we tried to brush him, so he looks like crap now, all matted and nasty.  We tried to work on them, but gave up because it just makes him mad.  And this is a cat who never got mad, who wouldn’t bite or scratch even if you were a dog chewing him up (a pitbull nearly ended him one day) and even the vets loved him because as they attended to his awful wounds, he just sat still and purred his loud, loud purr.  So we knew he wasn’t quite himself lately.  He’s also become pretty thin, but he seemed happy and fine, just old – and well, dang it, he is old!  Well, a couple days ago, he planted himself in one of his favorite spots – in my dad’s garage, between the pump for the well and the water heater.  He basically hasn’t moved much since then.  I went the next day, and petted and petted him, to tell him "goodbye".  He never really even raised his head.  The next day, he was still hanging in, so I went again, and this time he stirred at the sound of my voice, so I picked him up and loved on him.  Mom and I were absolutely sure he’d be gone by the next day, as dad said he’d quit eating and drinking.  (all the cat’s stuff is in the workshop, and my dad practically lives out there, so he knows these things.)  He didn’t seem to be suffering, so we thought, well, just let him go "quietly into that good night".  But, no.  It’s the 3rd day – 4th? and he’s still hanging on.  In fact, he actually seems a bit better – he’s getting up to eat and drink, if only a tiny bit.  But dad said he seems to be hurting when he uses his box.  So, today mom and I discussed the ever-dreaded "maybe we need to take him to the vet" deal.  Dreaded, because at the age of 18 I don’t think we can really get him all "fixed up" you know – it’s more of the ‘end of life’ kind of talk.  Uhg.  I hate that.  It’s always the hard part of having pets, isn’t it?  I took Kiki today to tell him goodbye… I’m going to pray really hard that Kimba decides to just drift away in his sleep tonight.
 

Mama’s Midlife Madness – The Puppy Chapter

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Oh, Yeah.  What Puppy.  Well…about that.  You probably know I’ve had this wild-hair-up-my-hiney called MUST HAVE ANOTHER DOG for awhile now.  I’m not sure what causes that; probably an all-out love of animals which sometimes causes grief.  Case in point.  This is what led me to bring home that Springer a couple weeks back, remember?   So, I’ve been looking in the paper, online, Craig’s List, you know, anywhere I thought I might find something interesting.  Then I found this old book I’ve had called Your Purebred Puppy.  It’s all about finding out what kind of dog would be best for you and your family.  Which seems kind of silly, because I’ve had dogs (of all sorts) my whole life.  But I thought, well, maybe there is a breed out there I haven’t thought about.  Yeah.  I know.  This chick is crazy.  So I decided I want an English Setter.  I found a local breeder who had a litter and off we went…Alan and I went out Saturday. I want a male, and I want it Lemon or Orange (that is, with yellow or orange markings, lol!)  So he had two pups left; the black and white female he is keeping, and an orange and white male.  He is soooo dang cute!!  Look at those green eyes!

But, here was the problem… (yeah; with me, it’s always the problems!!)  He was the last puppy left because he has this growth on his hind leg.  The breeder’s vet said it was probably just a wart and would fall off.  Uh huh.  But, the breeder had all the right answers to the other questions, about the Health Certifications, and why he bred his dog, and the bloodlines, and what-have-you.  So. Alan and I left – (to buy a vacuum because mine broke 2 weeks ago, which means my house looks scarier than ever!) and we talked.  And decided it was worth a shot.  The breeder agreed to hold our check until we had the puppy checked out by our own vet and decided if we’d keep him or not.  We had the puppy for three days.  He was a really good little guy… I mean, sure, he pooped on the carpet, but he’s a puppy!  It’s part of the deal.  But, he was smart as a whip, only whined for like 5 minutes when we’d crate him up for the night, was learning to get along with the Bob and Merry, understood "down" and mostly picked up only his own toys and not Kiki’s… I think he’d have been really easy to train.  And sweet!!  Oh, my.  And it was so funny to watch him ‘point’ birds, not to mention pointing the cat, lol!  Boy, is that an ingrained instinct!  However…. yeah, there had to be that, didn’t there??  I took him to my vet yesterday, and $86.00 later I found out he has a non-malignant tumor that needs to be removed at the cost of $400+.  And, no knowing if he’s susceptible to them or not…. Well, I know anything can happen with a pet, but I also think that you don’t want to start out with issues right off.  In fact, I’d been praying all morning "Lord, you know I want a second dog, and I really like this little guy.  If he’s the dog for us, then let this be simple and inexpensive.  But, if there is some reason I’m not supposed to get a new dog right now, then let it be expensive and possibly problematic."  You have to agree, God answered that pretty plainly.  Dang it.  My vet didn’t say what I should do, of course, because they just don’t, but I could tell he thought it wasn’t the best idea ever to go ahead and buy this pup – I mean, same reason – why start with a problem?  When I went up front to pay, the gal asked me "So, did you hear what you wanted?" and I had to say "No, not really."  She asked if we were going to keep him, and when I told her no she said "Well, I wasn’t going to say anything if you’d decided to keep him, but I can tell you now that I got a Brittany pup who had a bump like that, and I figured ‘no big deal’ and got her, and she’s only a year and a half old, but if I didn’t work here, she’d be an $1,800.00 dog at this point – it’s just been one thing after another with her."  So, I guess that confirmed my decision. 

We took him back last night.  The breeder was totally nice about it, wondered if we’d want him if his vet did the removal (but, no, it’s just not right) and then said he’d keep our names because his brother also breeds and will probably have a litter next year…(and the vet said to tell the breeder it’s not genetic or anything, just a fluke deal that happens sometimes) so, that’s the end of this little chapter for now.  I just pray he’ll find a loving home, because he really deserves one.  Well, all dogs do.

That’s the end of my dog search for now.  After two failures, I am just bruised in the heart and can’t take it anymore for awhile.  Poor Merry was so stressed out after the pup disappeared she threw up all over the place… I’m doing the laundry as we speak…. Bob, he’s relaxing somewhere.  Sometimes, I don’t understand why I do what I do.  But I can’t help myself, I guess.   So, there you have it – the puppy story in all it’s sad detail.  I am pretty sure, tho, that someday when I am up for it, I will get an English Setter…. even Alan said he’d sure like that kind of dog.

Cute and mischievious

Trying to make friends with Merry

Bob the Brave

Playing with Kiki

Looking for Bob

Bob hiding!

 

So, I’m an idiot….

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and I don’t even mean because my ‘space’ is being featured and I go missing for 5 days…. I mean, that’s bad enough, but check this out….
 
I’ve been looking for a 2nd dog.  Because I think Merry is a little lonely.  She needs a buddy to play with, and personally I’d be happy if she’d quit being so ‘clingy’ on me!  I’ve been checking the local humane society’s website, local ads, Craig*slist, wherever…. so, the other day I find this 5 yr old male Springer Spaniel.  I’m thinking it’d be great not to have to do the puppy thing (while forgetting that "doing the puppy thing" means doing it right so you have the dog you want on the other end…)  I have always wanted a Springer, but Alan thinks they’re crazy.  So, Kiki and I go see him.  He’s a doll – sweet, well-behaved, blah blah blah – next thing you know I’m bringing him home!  I have been sick to my stomach ever since!  What was I thinking??  Well, I didn’t – that’s the problem.  Didn’t spend enough time thinking it through.  He’s totally housebroken; I didn’t lose a wink of sleep last night because he just lay down and behaved himself; Kiki loves him, Alan is even suitably impressed, he and Merry aren’t playing yet but they are getting along fine….. and he wants to eat our cat.  I mean, really.  Poor Bob-cat, he wanted to play with the dog at first (because he likes dogs!) but after a couple good ‘snaps’ he has spent the last several hours up on top of the china hutch, and I haven’t even yelled at him to get down from there.  Sigh.  So I guess I am going to have to take him back.  Which makes me feel like a total loser/nutcase.  I sure talked us up to the gal who was fostering him!   And now this.  I know, maybe if we gave it some time the dog would learn how to behave around the cat.  However, I’m not willing to risk an injured cat in the process.  Besides, the Springer looks at the cat in the same glossed-ever-eyes-look that our Golden who was totally cat obsessed did…. he never got over cats, his entire life.   So I’d rather just return him now and cut my losses before we all become completely attached, which we could pretty easily.  Sigh.  Why do I get myself into these things…..yuck.  I feel sick. 

Quietly Mourning

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I am so, so sad over the death of the filly Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby yesterday.  It put a shadow over the great run of Big Brown.  Who was awesome.  I just sat there and wept.  That is the part of racing that I hate… they work the poor young horses too much too soon, and so often their immature bodies just can’t take the stress.  In any other discipline, you aren’t even riding the horse until they are almost 3 years old!  So they can still be going strong well into their 20’s.  How young do you think they are on a racehorse’s back in order to be winning at the highest levels as 3 year-olds??  It’s so much about the $$, and that just makes me cry a little.
 
A little information, if you wonder:
 
Horses’ bones, ligaments and tendons in their legs usually aren’t fully matured until somewhere around age 4, give or take depending on the size and breeding of the horse.  The bigger the horse, the longer it takes – so, if you’re talking about a 17 hand mare (that’s her height – 1 hand = 4", so she was approx. 5’6" at the wither, that is, the bump just at the base of her neck.) like Eight Belles, you can bet her little legs really weren’t up to the stress.  In my Equine Studies classes in college, we watched footage of horse racing in slow motion…. it was wild how their hooves were just wildly flopping at the end of their ankles as they made the full stride – it’s a wonder any of them step down properly at all.  In my opinion, they shouldn’t be racing until they are at least 4 years old; 5 or 6 would be better.  Unfortunately, it is a money-driven sport, and that is too long to wait, I guess.  I’m not saying most people in the sport don’t love their animals;  they just take risks that I, as a horse owner, would be unwilling to take. 
 
 

Happy Times with my $5.00 Horse

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This was probably the best horse I’ve ever had.  I got him as a yearling, and raised him and did all the training myself.  He was a purebred Arabian gelding, and was one of the most level-headed and sensible horses I’ve ever owned.  The very first time I took him on a trail ride up in the hills, he loaded right on the trailer for the trip out there, and the whole ride all he ever did when he encountered new things was he’d stop dead, plant all four feet, and just stare.  But he never spooked or got silly at all. 
 
This picture is me longeing him…. that’s ground training with a long rope, basically….

So, why was he a $5.00 horse?  This is a great story!  I’d had other horses before him, but at the moment (in college and newly married) I was "horseless".  I was taking riding lessons from a woman who taught Equestrian courses at my University.  I’d met her through the program there and really liked her.  One day she suggested I attend a local show, just to observe, because she was hoping I’d be showing soon.  So, I drug Alan out to the show.  It was an all-breed show, hunter-jumper show, but at the lunch break they were going to raffle off a horse to raise money for their horse club.  Of course I had to check it out!  Turns out the horse they were raffling off was an Arabian gelding!  I adore Arabians!  In fact, all but one of the horses I’ve owned have been purebred or partbred Arabs.  They just tug at my heart.  Well, the tickets were going for $5.00 each.  Alan said, "well, we have exactly $5.00 (remember, college students, newly married!) We can either both have a hot dog for lunch, or buy a raffle ticket."  What do you think I did??!!  Of course I bought the ticket!  Now, I’d never won anything in my life.  Right after I’d gotten the ticket, I heard a lady ask "Is the horse that yearling over there?"  Okay, because I had no expectations of winning – and maybe I’m not so bright – I hadn’t even thought to ask to see the horse!  Duh.  When I heard it was a yearling, I almost went and asked to return my ticket!  I’d never raised a young horse, and what I really wanted was a horse to ride.  But, I figured, I wasn’t going to win, so it wasn’t worth the embarassment of asking for my money back

Skip to lunch time.  I’d been having a great ol’ time watching the show.  Alan, not so much.  Back then, though, he used to humor me, and at least pretend he enjoyed it, lol.  Then they led out this beautiful little grey yearling gelding, and trotted him around the arena, and read off his pedigree.  He had really nice bloodlines, and he sure was a pretty guy!  (I have pics of me and him at that very moment, but couldn’t find them today)  Then, they call off the winning number.  People all around me are looking at their huge long strings of tickets they’d bought.  No one responded.  Number called again.  Quiet in the stands.  I pull my ticket out of my pocket, and realize I’ve got the winning ticket!!   What do I do??  Do I want this horse?  Do I keep my mouth shut and let them call another number?  That would be the sensible thing to do…. Sensible-Shmensible!!  I just won a HORSE!!!   Of course I jumped up and yelled "it’s me, it’s me!!"  Wow.  Simply wow.  I was offered money for him within the hour, lol, but by then I was in love with him. 

I have to tell you the folks who donated the foal were a bit concerned.  You see, I didn’t have a trailer, no way to get him home….lol.  I arranged for them to bring him the next day to my parent’s house, as they had a half-acre zoned for horses.  I know they thought I was some doofus "backyard horse owner" who didn’t have a clue.  By the way, being a "backyard horse owner" is a huge insult for anyone who knows horses, lol.  I didn’t care what they thought, I was on cloud nine.

This picture is about 5 years later.  As a 2 year old, he’d won Grand Champion Gelding at the local fair, with Alan actually handling him in the class!!   (That is, a halter class, no riding.)  This picture was our first show under saddle.  I’d done all his training, with some riding lessons on him from a really great gal who helped us a lot.  He did so great!!  (I competed against a gal whose parents owned the big stable where we’d boarded him before getting our own property, and her horse was the same age as mine, and she’d done the training….so when I placed above her in both of my classes, well, you can just say I was puffed up and proud, lol!!)

 Okay, he looks a little ratty in this next picture (he was tired and it was windy) but those are our ribbons – a 2nd place and a 3rd place!!  I was so proud of us!

I’ll wait for another post to tell you what happened to this wonderful horse of mine – I don’t feel like crying tonite. 

What’s up with Bob??

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I guess my cat has reached the age of "teenhood".  Because he is driving me crazy.  He is pushing his boundaries, doing stuff he shouldn’t, stuff which is foolhardy and maybe even dangerous… he has no fear.  Remind you of a teenage boy??  I think he’s trying to figure out if he can somehow – someway – get up on the ceiling.  I’m not making this up!  I’ve been moving breakable items to ‘safe’ areas…  Here, he’s just looking out the window – not too crazy, yet…
 
and loafing around (I think it looks hilarious when he lays like this!)
Then he climbed up on the fireplace mantle, on top of the clock, and wondered if he could climb up the pictures…

Then up on top of the curio cabinet….

 

He moved my picture…trying to find a way up…

"Should I jump to the top of the curtains?"

"Nah, I’ll just get down…"

"Dude, that totally wore me out."

"A bag!  Radical.  I think I’ll take a nap."

 

 

That Crazy Cat!

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I made Alan admit that the cat is entertaining.  I made him admit the cat is a pretty good pet. ("for a cat", he said)  I tried to get him to admit having the cat is a good thing… he said "that’s pushing it!"  Alright, so he can be a bit of a pain (I mean the cat, lol)…. yesterday, Kiki and I were in another room doing school when we heard a big crash and a ‘meow’… I heard the cat running off, so I figured if he was okay there was no point in running to see what had happened!  Why ruin the morning, huh?  Later though, I discovered that he had knocked over our lamp in the livingroom… it’s one of those torchiere type floor lamps.  Fortunately, it’s old, and was cheap to begin with, because it’s sort of tweaked now… kinda hard to turn on and off, but it still works.  
 
So – today we are sitting in the livingroom, and the cat hops up on my rocking chair, and is looking very hard at the top of the bookcase.  The bookcase is right next to the rocker and about 7 feet tall…. next thing you know ~ up the cat goes!  Pretty good jump!  He looked startled, actually, like he hadn’t thought he’d make it!   He sat up there for a long time, just looking around.  Pretty happy with himself.   I was beginning to wonder if he knew how to get down!  He made it – leapt down onto the rocker and kept on going…. what a nut!  He didn’t even break anything!  What a knucklehead!
 
 
Update:
 
Today (Sunday) I moved these two suh-weet Russian porcelain figurines I have (a zebra and a camel) from on top of my curio cabinet to inside of my curio cabinet… Bob-cat was up on top of the piano, peering intently at the top of said cabinet!  Better safe than sorry, I figured!

The Dog Dish

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First let me say that I’ve gotten tired of referring to the dog as ‘the dog’…so since everyone else on my blog goes by an alias, I made ones up for the pets as well… Girlie Dog (no, not her real name!!) will be called "Merry", since she was born on Christmas day.   The cat will be "Bob"… Bob cat…. get it?…hahaha…. oh, well…!   That’s all I got…..
 
 
So, I bought Merry a new food dish.  She doesn’t eat her food, she inhales it.  This dish is supposed to slow her down.
 
 
 
 
 
It works!  And she is so – not – happy.