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Lady of the Rings

About four weeks ago, I took Gracie to the Vet for a dental cleaning and an extraction of one of her teeth. While she was anesthetized, Dr. Larry noticed Gracie had a nasty infection in both of her ears. Somehow I had not even noticed this! My bad!

I brought Gracie home, along with ear meds and an oral antibiotic. I also had her tested for BARTONELLA, a test which I had insisted on running, even though Gracie doesn't go outdoors. Good thing I asked for it, though I was shocked at the results. Yet another one of my cats that has come up positive! This makes three out of seven cats that have or had Bartonella. All but one of the gang has not been tested and he may have been the original carrier and he will be the toughest one to get to the Vet to test.

All I know is, I gotta medicate a shy, skittish cat for THREE WEEKS.


I tried. I really tried to coax, fool, and bamboozle Gracie to allow me to get my hands on her for the once-a-day medication. It wasn't working. After only getting her meds five out of ten days, I called Dr. Larry and he suggested locking her up in a room for the next THREE WEEKS.

Maybe Dr. Larry Won't See Me Under Here?

I really didn't want to do that. Not only would she be lonely, but it would through off the "pecking order" in the house and I knew I'd have to re-introduce her to the cats if she was away from them for so long. I decided it the three weeks would pass no matter what, so better to have her away from the other cats while she was being treated.


So our last night as a family, I was petting Gracie. I noticed she'd had some crud, felt like scabs on the back of her ear. I looked more closely and saw that Gracie had two spots, one on each ear, where the fur was gone. I parted the fur on her head and saw a nasty sore. Then I found another one on her shoulders.


Does Gracie have RINGWORM??????!!!!!!

Miliary Dermatitis

(Gracie was shaved so we could better see any changes in her condition. This is a few days after treatment)

The next morning, Gracie and I went to visit Dr. Larry. She didn't have sores on her head and shoulders, she had them ALL OVER HER BODY. Crusty, some bloody, awful looking. I felt terrible for missing this, but when and how did it happen? Did she get it at the Vet? Was it brewing before then? Was it an allergic reaction? She also LOST 1/2 pound in the two weeks that had passed between her dental and me bringing her back with the rash.

Dr. Larry and his partner Dr M. both agreed it was probably Miliary Dermatitis and not ringworm. The test for ringworm will be done in a few more days, but for now it looks like a reaction to something...but what? They ran more blood work. It came back so clean that Dr Larry said it was the blood work of a KITTEN! Yay for feeding grain-free, at least!

Poor Gracie. Back at the Vet to visit Dr. Larry

After a shot of steroids, in just a day, Gracie's skin was looking MUCH better. Gracie has also had two anti-fungal baths and those keep her comfortable. I don't see her scratching at herself, so I think she's doing all right.

With all the craziness, I was sure she should stop her antibiotics, in case she was allergic to them, but Dr. Larry felt we should continue. Gracie's ears cleared up nicely and her skin looks better, NOW she is SNEEZING a lot!

Ugh, again!

Gracie has 9 more days of confinement, unless she has ringworm. I'm not showing any signs of any outbreak and Sam seems fine, as well. It's a good thing Gracie's away from Bob, with his FIV he could not easily fight off any of Gracie's issues and I don't want to think about a house full of sick cats that need daily medication. That would be a NIGHTMARE.

Gracie also put some weight back on. Other than being lonely, she's doing well. She'll have one more bath this week and the ringworm test will confirm what our next steps will be.

And no, I'm not fostering any cats, maybe not until next year or maybe I have to stop for good. In the middle of all of this craziness, things have gotten worse where I volunteer and I may need to resign and move on. More on the next installment.


Little Smokey, who was "too old" for our program, but through the efforts of our super-trapper, who rescued her and who fought for her, not only did Smokey enter our program, little Smokey was adopted in less than two weeks.

She wasn't here long enough for me to be sad when she left. In fact, I found myself feeling quite happy for her. Her new family, a semi-retired couple, made quite an impression on me.

Dolores and Dick, what lovely people, came over to visit with Smokey and, I found out later, had decided to adopt her from the photo I took that was posted in the local paper (see my post, Lady of the Manor to see the photo). Good thing, too, because Smokey showed badly. She ran off, did not want to be held, but, at least, did not hide. She stayed a careful distance from all of us and was very alert and interested in playing with a toy Dick was jiggling in front of her. She gave her new owners a wary sniff. I promised them that she really was a sweetheart. I had held her like a baby in my arms not even a few moments before they arrived. She purred when I entered the room. Why couldn't she do that now?

Dick told me about their previous cat. This cat should have been called; Miracle, because he survived being attacked by a coyote! The cat barely survived, but in time he was back to his old self. It didn't take long, though, before the cat was, yes, captured by HAWK. Dick heard his cat screaming, looked up to see his big tom-cat being flown out of the yard! Lucky for the kitty, the hawk dropped him. Dick said that was because the hawk wanted to break the legs of his cat to impair it enough to be killed. The cat didn't break a bone and went on to live the rest of his life indoors.

Meanwhile, Dick, like his cat, has survived four heart attacks (the second one was the "lucky" heart attack because it was discovered he had kidney cancer when he was hospitalized for his heart and the cancer was treated by removing the cancerous kidney). He had recently been in the hospital for two weeks, then came home and fell down the stairs. He had pnuemonia, broken ribs and God knows what else, from the latest fall. He'd only been out of the hospital a few days before he came to my house. It was all I could do to keep myself from either hugging him hard or hoping he didn't keel over in my living room.

His wife was just nicer than nice. I liked both of them very much. When they took Smokey away, she told me it was "love at first sight" for her and Smokey. I knew this was a good fit. I just wish they hadn't named her: Lady Fraidy Gray!

100% Awful

I'm starting to realize I'm not the evil bitch I thought I was. Over the past few years since I've been volunteering, I've frequently had some, err, "moments of tension" with one of the ladies who runs the organization. I've been told I'm the only person who has ever made her cry, due to being frustrated or angry in dealing with me, but on the other hand, I'm at my wits end because there's little planning for the design projects I do, little time to do them in and the worst-barely any communication regarding design direction. There are also edits upon edits-most of them could have been shaved down to just one or two with some forethought.

As any graphic designer will tell you, you only get as good as you give (direction). I can't read anyone's mind, though I do try often enough. If my clients don't like what they get, they can point the blame partly at themselves. This is never understood for some reason.

Needless to say, considering I'm doing this for FREE, I can't even write off the hours I volunteer doing design work; it only leaves me with the goal of doing a good job, but that's based on my own subjective measure. I also get to a point of doing endless revisions where I get pissed off. so there! I'm human.

Apparently, I'm not allowed to show emotion...

UPDATE: While I'm writing this entry, I get an email about the Holiday Card I just designed. In so many the whole thing over again, I don't like it. Well, I didn't get any direction other than; "use this text and use this photo"...yeah...I think I'm to a point where it's a waste of time. I'm really tired of banging my head against a wall and I didn't even get to make my point:

I spoke with someone who's known said person-I-butt-heads-with and she surprised me by saying some not too flattering things about this person's management style, or lack thereof. Words like: Passive-aggressive came up, as well as: rigid. It make me realize that it's a two way street and it wasn't all my fault. Here I was feeling guilty and beating myself up for being an awful person. Okay, I can be awful, but I'm not like 100% awful!


So here I sit, pissed off and trying to figure out what to say in reply to the "I hope I don't offend you" email. I feel like telling her to go stuff it and "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" to you, too.

Oh..and all I really want to do is HELP SAVE CATS LIVES and make their lives better. Am I doing that? Not hardly.

Another Homeless Cat

There's a very sweet lady in town who seems to attract homeless cats. Last year I went to her palacial home to photograph a very timid, adult cat. We couldn't bring her in as a foster and she needed socializing. This nice lady kept her in her own room until she could find a forever home. Now I love cats, you know that, but this cat hid under the furniture and cowered in the corner. The best photo I could get of her was not exactly appealing. At least she didn't look terrified!


So little Meadow (above) got adopted. It took a few months, but our nice foster lady didn't mind, as long as the cat got a good home.

Another year has passed and another cat has found her way to Lady H's home. This kitty started out being wild, but in time, no surprise, the cat became friendly. She probably remembered her former life with humans. She ran away from home, or was dumped off. However she found Lady H, along the way, she lost most of her tail.


The kitty is very sweet and playful and spends her days outside. Lady H makes sure she comes in at night to keep her safe from predators and warm, now that winter is slowly approaching. Again, Lady H will have the luxury of time, unlike myself who has to place my foster in two weeks. The more I think about it, the more I feel the need to rebel. It's not fair to put this cat into a shelter where she won't show well and she will begin to revert back to being fearful. She's doing well here and seems very content. I want her to have the luxury of time, but there, supposedly are more kittens waiting to be fostered I being played? Are they telling me they need me to step in when I know the cats are already in a foster home now? Hmmm...

Whatever the case is, this charming stubby tailed cat, who likes to fetch and play with sticks, needs a permanent home. She loves little kids and I think she'd be a great family member!

Now can I please stop having to write about homeless cats and cat who've been dumped?

I wish.

Lady of the Manor


This is Smokey, as promised.

Isn't she lovely?

Who would love to adopt her??!

The New Cat in Town

So I made it back home alive from my attempt at having an "adventure!," a road trip across the country!, e.g., a failed, stupid idea, where I was stranded in the heartland of America for 8 days. You can read about it HERE.

Now that I've returned, I'm slowly getting back into the old, boring, swing of things. My first act of normalcy, other than to sleep in my own bed, was to procure a foster kitten for, well, fostering.

Enter said kitten. Kitten? Umm...okay, how about really BIG, 6 month old young CAT? Yeah, Miss K (and I know you're reading this), an awesome tick-flicking, stray cat trapping animal rescuer, brought me a cat who was abandoned at the feeding station she set up a few years ago. The kitty, Smokey, was left, along with her pregnant Mom. Initially thought to be feral, the cats were trapped and brought to the Vet to be spayed.

Smokey started to purr right away, so even though that's GREAT, it's doubly sad because it means she's had human contact with a shitty human who dumped her.

Mom and new babies are in foster care, too, so no worries about them. I've got Smokey and my goal is to get her adopted in two weeks. That's all the time I have because I'm getting more kittens soon.

Smokey is very pretty, grey tabby with a hint of siamese, it seems. She's playful, super quick to purr LOUDLY and submissive. You can pick her up any old way, not support her rump and she'll just hang there 'til you hold her close. She's skittish, but in the first day I've already seen her calm down. I think, in time, she'll be just fine.

Photos will be uploaded this weekend.

Now lets get to work and find Smokey a home!

Rant about My Own Vet.

What the HECK?!

I took Gracie to the Vet today to have her teeth cleaned. She's got an irritated area on her gums and looks like one of her teeth is going to be pulled. Gracie was a champ about being shoved into the cat carrier against her will. Granted I offered her some time with "the brush" in trade for allowing me to scoop her up and drop her into her carrier.

Gracie is such a brush-whore. She'll do anything if I brush her first.

Oh yeah, the rant...

So I get to my Vet's office and one of the nice ladies that works there was talking to me about how she only has one cat and she feeds her 1/8 cup of DRY food a day and the cat is still fat. This is at my VET's OFFICE!

Where my VET WORKS...

...where my vet and his staff are supposed to KNOW about good nutrition! Here is this poor woman who wants to do the best for her cat and didn't even KNOW about the benefits of getting her cat off grain.

I spent about 20 minutes going over the benefits and the types of results I've seen over the time I've been feeding my cats either a RAW, or at least, grain free canned diet. It chaps my ass that I see bags of "Prescription" diets in my Vet's office and I keep wanting to work up the nerve to talk to him about it. He's basically pushing crap on his clients and he's SO BUSY with work, why does he need more money? I need to get to the bottom of this.

Meanwhile, when I went back to pick Gracie up, sans a tooth, I left a few cans of cat food for the nice lady, in hopes she will start feeding an improved diet to her cat. I think it's my goal in life to turn everyone around to making this change. The pet food companies are starting to see the value in pulling grain. My fear is what they are going to do to make it cheaper so they can still make the bucks. Use cheaper cuts of meat? More bones, less muscle meat? What?

I shudder to think.

It's Done.

I've paid the Piper in tears. Lori, the adopter, called this morning to ask if she could come get the kittens a day early? I wanted to beg off and say, no. They're her companions now and they were always meant to only be here a short time, so I said; "Sure, come over."

I had a last visit with the kittens and tried to take the ultimate photo of them together, but it ended up just being some random shots of them playing. I kept thinking about Rose, their Mama, and how she would do once they leave her forever. The guilt runs deep. My only comfort is knowing the kittens are safe. They never went hungry or spent a night shivering under a fallen tree. They never were hunted by wild animals. They never slept in the dirt. Hopefully, they will only know a life of comfort and love. I gave them all kisses and wished them well, then left the room to wait for Lori to arrive.


Lori came to get the kittens and was so happy and excited. I took Poppy and placed her in front of her Mother's face and said; "Say Goodbye to Mama." and with that, the two rubbed foreheads. I almost lost it. I didn't mean it, but I think I upset Lori a bit. She was so focused on getting the kittens, she forgot that she was taking them away from their Mother. She waved Daisy at Rose and quickly put both the kittens into the carrier and couldn't get out of the room fast enough. I gave her some food and some suggestions on how to handle the first few days and bid her well. I hope she'll send me photos of the girls as they grow up. I'd love to see how beautiful they are as adults.

After Lori left, I brought Mama some special food and gave her a big hug and kiss, then burst into tears. She seemed calm and relaxed. Not even bothered, while I just sobbed. Honestly, if she's OKAY and I'm sad, that's fine with me. I'd rather it be that way.

And what does fate hold in store for Rose? Just because she's a year and a half older, her chances are fewer to find a good home, too. With the bad reaction to her Distemper booster shot and an eye infection, she needs to take it easy and will stay here awhile longer. She'll be in the foster room, alone, but it's far better than a cage in the shelter—her next stop if we don't find her a home soon.

I'm getting ready to leave home for a few weeks. My dear, Sam will be watching Mama for me while I'm gone. I hate to leave them both, but it's time for me to grow some wings of my own and try to figure out what I need to be doing. I think I need some wide open road to figure that out, so off I go, to points west until I hit Nevada.

I'll be back in a few weeks, hopefully. If you'd like to follow my journey, you can visit my Travel Blog

See you on the road!

The Snooze Button on My Alarm Clock has Claws

Pouffy Alarm Clock

Cat Hat or Pouffy Alarm Clock?

Do you REALLY think I can sleep with a loudly purring fur hat on my head?

All Good Things...

My babies are adopted!!!!

We're Adopted!!!

After a few weeks of disastrous adopters coming through the foster room, we finally met a really nice couple who were smitten with the kittens. They're excited to be adopting their first pair of females. Up to now, they've always had male cats. Should be an interesting change for them!

I must add that I'm thrilled Poppy and Daisy get to go home together. Although they'll be parted from their Mother on Sunday, they'll be able to enjoy each other's companionship for the rest of their lives.

I hope they will have a happy, healthy, magical life. They are such beautiful girls, too. I will certainly miss them a lot.

Now...what can we do for Mama? She got a reprieve for a few more days. Now she goes to the shelter on Tuesday. I want her in a good home, NOT in a cage!


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