Friday, November 30, 2012

Award and Fun Stuff

 Karen Jo:  Team Tabby gave this award to Spyro, Oja and Angel Herman two weeks ago and I am finally getting around to posting it.  Thank you so much Team Tabby.  I am sure that Herman is thrilled.  I know Spyro and Oja are.  I guess Spyro and Oja might qualify as babies, as they are both two years old.  I pass the award along to:

Forty Paws
Four White Paws
The Chesney Cats
Alasandra, the Cats & a Dog
Jacqueline's Cat House
The Cat Post Intelligencer
Manx Mnews
 Spyro:  Mom has trouble taking good pictures of me, because I am seldom still.  I was sitting in a light spot in the hall, just as handsome as you please, but when Mom pointed the camera at me, I walked right between her legs and into the kitchen.  I thought I could talk her into letting me go outside.  I jump up on the stove and meow and meow at her to open the door, but she hardly ever listens to me.  I also keep moving my head.

Karen Jo:  I really wish I could get a shot of the way you tilt your head when you are curious about something.  That is where your head was when I pushed the button, but you moved immediately.

Spyro:  Always keep the beans guessing, that's my motto.  Mom got some interesting packages in the mail today.  I sniffed them all over and even knocked one of them on the floor.  Sadly, none of them were for us.

Karen Jo:  It's the time of year for interesting packages.  There will be some for you, eventually.

Spyro:  I got some good views of Mom crawling around on the floor yesterday and a bunch of balls appeared.

Karen Jo:  I went on one of my sporadic toy hunts.  Oja's jingle balls have been disappearing.  I found a bunch of balls and a little something from Herman.  That last week he was really fighting me about taking his Metro.  I found a pill he had spit out behind his platform after I thought he had swallowed it.

Spyro:  I haven't seen any more chipmunks, but there have been a lot of birds.
Oja:  I like to watch the birds, too.  Late yesterday afternoon, Mom found me in this chair on my back, looking out the window.  I was watching the birds in the tree next door and decided I might as well be comfortable about it.

Karen Jo:  I would have loved to take that picture, but there wasn't enough light.

Oja:  Some of you must be thinking that I live in this chair, but I don't.  I run around a bit and play with Spyro and knock balls all around.  I snuggled up tight to Mom last night.  We had a good time together.

Karen Jo:  I am getting used the changes.  When I am feeling sad that Herman isn't there to greet me at the door or snuggle up to me at night, I tell myself how lucky I am that Spyro greets me at the door every time and Oja snuggles up to me most nights.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not Quite So Sad

 Poor little Emma got shortchanged once again.  November 19th was her Bridge Day.  I was going to make a post just for her on the day, but I started crying again and I couldn't see to post.  It's been a year now since she left.  Somehow it seems an eternity and just a little while ago at the same time.  I chose a picture of her at play because that's the way I want to remember her.  She so loved to play, both with toys by herself and especially with Da Bird.  Every night after I got home from work and fed her and Herman, I took a little time to get in my PJs and rest a little, then I would go into the living room and get out Da Bird for a session with Emma.  We had such fun together.
 Spyro:  We have been having sunny, but cold weather.  I know it's been cold because I have been escaping and find that I don't like it much.  Mom doesn't even have to come get me. After only a few minutes I go back to the door and demand to be let back in.  I love catching the rays in my ham-mick.  Mom has been tossing me out of her bedroom and closing the door.  I don't like it.

Karen Jo:  I have only done it twice.  Once a few days ago when you began attacking my pajama legs and your claws were going through the material and hurting me.  You just wouldn't stop it, despite my pushing you off my legs and petting you and trying to get you interested in something else.    After five minutes, Oja started crying at the door and I opened it again and got up for the day.  The second time was today when you were helping me make the bed.  I don't mind it when you attack the sheets and blankets and let yourself get covered up.  However, this morning you attacked the blanket where I was holding it and made such a deep hole in my finger that I had to get a bandage to stop the bleeding.  I let you back in as soon as I finished.

Spyro:  I still don't like it.  The traffic at the bird feeders has been very interesting.  We had some little animals as well as birds.  I lashed and lashed my tail.

Karen Jo:  Some chipmunks have discovered the bird seed that the birds knock to the ground.  I was very glad to see them.  I haven't seen any since the fire two years ago.

Spyro:  What were you doing in the back yard for so long?  You said I could stay out with you if I behaved, but it was too cold for me to stay out long.

Karen Jo:  Herman's grave marker arrived and I was putting it up along with the solar powered colored lights  I got for Herman and Emma.  Herman got a star and Emma got a dragonfly.  I really like them and they make useful markers for the sides of the graves.  I also fed and watered the birds.
Oja:  Hmmph!  Going outside in the cold seems stupid to me, especially when there are such nice sun puddles inside.  This is the same chair where Herman and I used to nap together.  I have been really good about keeping Mom company at bedtime.  I curl up right next to her face and purr softly.  I let her pet me a little, but I don't want to be petted as much as Herman did.  I want to take my nightly bath, then curl up and sleep.

Karen Jo:  Oja does sleep with me on most nights.  Some nights she and Spyro prefer to sleep elsewhere, but one or both of them is always there in the morning, making sure I am getting up for breakfast.  I am feeling a bit better.  I went to Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and nephews to one of my nephew's girlfriend's house.  There was a whole crowd of us and it was delightful.  When my brother brought me home, we had time to go to the bank and get the last of the papers connected with my Mother's death signed and notarized.  I went and filed the last of the papers with the county today and got the utilities put in my name and changed the insurance to my name, too.  It's finally almost all done.  Once I am sure that the last shares of stock have been transferred, I can close her checking account and everything will at last be all taken care of.  That took a great weight off my shoulders and made me feel happy.  I still miss Herman lots.  It's hard to get used to being greeted at the door by only Spyro, but it will come.  I also feel better that his grave has a marker and a light. I should be blogging fairly steadily from now on.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

See You in a Little While

 Spyro:  Mom had the major sads today, so this is going to be a short post.

Karen Jo;  The floodgates opened yesterday while I was writing Herman's Gotcha Day post.  How I miss every little thing about him just came crashing down on me, so I'm taking a little while off from blogging.

Spyro:  In the meantime, what do you think of this for my header photo?  I am up on my spytower, looking at Mom.
Oja:  Mom thinks this would be a good photo of me for the header.  What do  you think?  Mom is very inexperienced at this.

Karen Jo:  I don't think I will be gone long,  but I don't want you to worry about me.  A wonderful thing is happening.  Spyro, who is anything but a lap cat has been jumping up on my lap and demanding attention and actually staying for a while.  Oja, who is a bit of a lap cat, but not really, has also been spending time in my lap and giving me lots of attention when I lie down to read or go to bed.  She is doing her very best to fill in as bedtime cuddle cat.  She has done this from the time she came out of her room and she is getting better and better at it.  With such good helpers, I should be back to being more myself soon.  Thank you all so much for all the kindness you have shown me.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Herman's Gotcha Day at the Bridge

I have hundreds of pictures of Herman, so it was really hard to pick a favorite for this post.  I wanted one where he was sitting up and in full floof, so that narrowed it down considerably.  This is from way back, shortly after I adopted him.  The shock of his running off to the Rainbow Bridge has worn off and the sadness has come to full flower.  I was feeling really down this morning and actually dreading doing this post until I saw this article in last night's paper.  It seems that Herman certainly didn't waste any time in taking up his duties as guardian angel kitty.  To summarize, a tiny kitten was rescued from the town landfill (dump) on the afternoon of the very day Herman went to the Bridge.  She was taken in by Friends of the Shelter (the same group who rescued Herman) and named Milagro (Miracle). To top it off, she is a black kitty with a white bib.  She will be in foster care until she is old enough to get her shots and be spayed, then she will be put up for adoption.  I certainly believe that Herman had a paw in this.  He had been rescued and given a chance for a good life, so he passed the favor along.

Going through the pictures also gave me a chance to review all the good times Herman and I had together.  I have pictures of him playing, napping, lounging around, looking out the window -- just generally enjoying life.  The joy I got from adopting Herman changed my life.  I was in a depression after losing my Mom and feeling very lonely.  At the same time, Herman was very lonely in foster care because he had to be isolated from the other kitties and his foster Mom had a houseful of them.  He had given up hope of ever getting out of that one room and was just moping around and acting grumpy with people.  His foster Mom was afraid that he would never get adopted because of his health issues and his grumpy attitude.  Then I saw a flyer about Herman posted on the bulletin board of the grocery store where I worked and I decided almost immediately that I wanted to adopt him.  I didn't go into it blind.  Before I called about him, I went online and read everything I could find about FIV and Feline Leukemia.  I decided that I could handle it and called.  When Herman and I met, a small miracle occurred.  For days, Herman had been hiding and would only come out for food, so his foster Mom gave me a paper plate with a dab of tuna on it to lure him out.  He came out, ate the tuna and instead of going back into hiding, as he had been doing, he sat there and looked at me.  I held out my hand and he nuzzled it.  He even let me pet him a little.  His foster Mom was amazed.  After that I only had to go through and interview with the head of Friends of the Shelter to make sure that I would give Herman and good home and then he came to share my home.  The rest is well documented in this blog.  The love and comfort Herman gave me brought me out of my depression and the love and comfort I gave him brought him out of his.  We were a perfect match for each other.

Because of Herman, I was able to open my heart to other kitties with Feline Leukemia and I am so glad that I have.  It is very comforting to me to have Spyro and Oja to love and be loved in return  Thank you, Herman for all that you gave to me in the three years we spent together.  I will never forget you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Blogoversary, Tabby Cat Club!

 Spyro: We are resting up so we can party all night at the Tabby Cat Club Blogoversary Party.  You can come, too.  You don't even have to be a tabby cat.  Just go here.  Oja and I will be there.
Oja:  I wish I could join the Tabby Cat Club.  Is there a club for gray cats?

Karen Jo:  I don't know of one.

Oja:  Rats!  Herman was in the Tuxedo Gang and Spyro is in the Tabby Cat Club, but I don't get to be in any club.

Spyro:  Aww, Mom might be able to find a club for you.  Guess what I found out?  The Bird Channel has all new programming on Cat TV!  I watched and switched my tail and talked to them.  You should jump up on the platform and watch, too, Oja.

Oja:  Maybe later.  I bet I can see them from my pillow on the table just as well.  Mom slowed down some today and lay down on the couch to read.  I jumped up on her to help her relax.

Karen Jo:  I really enjoyed that Oja.

Spyro:  We got to play with the glove with the dangly things this morning.  At least I did.

Oja:  I gave the lady bug a smell and a bite.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spyro's Forgotten Birthday

 Spyro:  My silly Mom completely forgot my birthday late last month.

Karen Jo:  I had to figure out a birthday for you.  Your adoption papers didn't even have your age on them.  When I took you to the vet a few days later they told me you were about one-and-a-half, but didn't assign you a birth date.  I added six months to your vet visit, but forgot to write it down.  When I was checking on Herman's dates I realized that your birthday must have been forgotten, so I dug out your papers and sure enough, I spaced it out.

Spyro:  Mom brought this thing into the house and thought that she could get the tags off and hide it from me until today.  Hah!  One of these dangly things has a FEV-VER on it!  No fev-vers can get by me.
Karen Jo:  Spyro wants to hand-wrestle me and his claws are sharp, so I got one of these gloves with dangles on the elongated fingers.
Spyro:  I pounced it before she could even get her hand in it.
Spyro:  Once she got it on, I not only attacked the dangly things, I went after her hand, too.  See me put the bitey on?

Karen Jo:  I am going to enjoy this glove, too.  Spyro will put the bitey on just about anything.
Oja:  I got to play with the dangly things, too, but they spooked me at first.  Mom had to hold really still and let me check them out.
Oja:  Spyro wanted his glove back almost as soon as I started playing with it, so I attacked the Plague Rat instead.

Karen Jo:  This photo is for Baby Patches and his Mom at Nip and Bones.  They wanted to know if Herman had enjoyed the toys I bought from them.  He did.  I thought I would show them that the toys are still being enjoyed.

Karen Jo:  Happy Belated 2nd Birthday, Spyro.  I will try really hard to never forget it again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Busy Mom

Spyro:  I love napping in Herman's bed.  It's comfy and warm and it smells like Herman.
Oja:  I have taken to napping on this blankie on the couch.  Mom often lies down on this couch to read and I like to get up on her legs when she does.

Karen Jo:  I was lonely last night.  No kitty came to sleep with me.

Spyro:  We were mad at you.  You left us in the night and didn't come home until 0-dark-thirty.

Oja:  We were starving.  Dinner was very late.

Karen Jo:  My friend took me out for a while, just to get me out of the house and to take my mind off Herman for a few hours.  It worked and I felt a little better.

Spyro:  You were up so late that I decided I better get you up for breakfast.  It was easy.  All I had to do was jump up on the bed and you were awake.  I don't know why Herman made such a fuss about how hard it was to get you up.

Karen Jo:  The only time Herman had a hard time getting me up for breakfast was when he decided to get me up before dawn.

Spyro:  I came in later to get your lazy buns out of bed and I'm almost sorry I did.  All day yesterday and all day today you have been busy, busy, busy.  I've never seen you do so much work around the house.

Karen Jo:  I have to keep busy, or the negative side of my mind tries to lay a guilt trip on me about Herman.  I know perfectly well that there is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about, but I hate the thoughts that crop up, so I just keep busy.  The same thing happened when my Mom died.

Spyro:  Late this afternoon, I finally got tired of it and tried to get you to stop playing with your papers and play with me.  I sat on your papers, so you had to slide them out from under me.  When you were writing in your little book, I put the bitey on your pen.  When that didn't stop you, I put the bitey on your little finger.  Finally, when you got up to get something, I pushed all the papers and your pen and your little book off the table.

Karen Jo:  I had let the mail pile up and I had some bills to pay and I put the order in for Herman's grave marker.  I pet you a little between opening envelopes.

Spyro:  It wasn't enough.  I wanted your undivided attention.

Karen Jo:  After I put the peas on the stove to cook for supper, I gave you all the attention you wanted, as long as it lasted, which wasn't long.

Spyro:  Oja came into the kitchen and I decided to hop down and greet her.

Karen Jo:  And chase her into the living room and play with her.

Karen Jo:  To change the subject, the Bird Channel is on Cat TV again.  It snowed just a tiny bit Saturday night, so it's safe to put out the bird seed, suet and water again.  The bears have gone into hibernation.  I put everything out yesterday, but the birds didn't find it until this afternoon.  Spyro and Oja haven't discovered the birds yet, but it won't be long.  They get a little noisy in the mornings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank You

Karen Jo:  First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for the huge outpouring of sympathy and comfort.  It does my heart good and helps with my grief enormously.  I will come around and thank each of you separately, but it will take a while.

Spyro:  Mom caught me just waking up from a nap in my ham-mick.  Mom says that after Herman's Gotcha Day she is going to rename this blog Spyro's Spytower.  What do you think of that?  I like it.

Karen Jo:  The URL will remain the same, just the blog name will change.

Spyro:  Mom isn't putting out as much food.

Karen Jo:  I figured out how Herman managed to gain weight on his diet.  I was putting out a half-cup of dry food for each of you and it all disappeared.  This morning I noticed that the two of you didn't eat all the dry food.  Herman was eating more than his fair share.  Today I put out one-third-cup of dry food each for you and that seems about right, at least for now.

Spyro:  I miss Herman.  I went around and really sniffed the places that he used to nap.  I know what happened to him and that he won't be back, but I wanted to smell him again.  I used his litter box just a little.

Karen Jo:  I scrubbed out Herman's litter box and put in all new litter.  It needed it anyway.
Oja:  Surprise!  I am back in my room.  I found this great pile of stuff to nap on.

Karen Jo:  The once-forbidden room was my parents bedroom.  When Mom died, I picked up all the stuff connected with her last illness and just dumped it all in that room, along with anything else I needed a place for.  When I finally cleaned it up, I took all the wraps and shawls and dumped them on the couch in Oja's room, thinking that the kitties might like them.  Herman discovered it about a week and a half ago, then Oja found it and last night Spyro tried it out.

Oja:  Last night in bed I had Mom all to myself all night.  It was great.

Karen Jo:  I didn't even need to call out, "Bedtime!"  Oja was already on the bed, just waiting for me.  She curled up next to me, a little closer to my head than Herman did, and waited for her petting.  We had a great time together.  Spyro slept in the rocking chair next to the bed, as usual.  Also as usual, when I woke up they were both down by my feet.  No kitty woke me up at dawn for breakfast.  I think maybe Spyro will take over that job or maybe they don't really care what time they get breakfast, as long as they get it.

Spyro:  Mom locked me up in the human litter box room.

Karen Jo:  I have to lock up Spyro when I take out the trash because I can't both carry the trash and keep him from running out the door.  I didn't have the heart to lock him up in Oja's room, as I usually do.  Maybe I'm just being silly, but I just couldn't do it.

Spyro:  It's OK.  I have my litter box and water in the human litter box room.  I can play footsie with Oja under the door, too.

Karen Jo:  Spyro loves to drink water out of a glass, so I keep a plastic glass with water in it on the sink for him.  Thanks again, everybody and a special thank you to Anne of Zoolatry for the lovely graphic of Herman. I put it up on my sidebar, but you have to scroll down a bit to see it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Farewell, Herman

These are the last two pictures I took of Herman, napping with Oja and enjoying a sun puddle.  I was going to post a few days ago, and took pictures of Oja and Spyro, but when I tried to take a picture of Herman, the camera informed me that the battery was dead.  I tried charging the battery, but it didn't work.  I could have done it wrong.

Herman ran off to the Rainbow Bridge early this morning.  I don't think he suffered at all.  Yesterday at breakfast he was his normal self and later that morning he was up on his platform, enjoying a nice sun puddle when I gave him his Interferon and his treat.  When he didn't come into the kitchen for lunch at 1:00, I went looking for him and found him in Oja's room, in Emma's hideyhole.  I put his lunch down in the usual spot and told him that if he didn't come out and eat it soon, Spyro would get it.  He didn't seem interested, so I sat   down and petted his head the way he liked for a little bit.  I told myself that I needed to get him to the vet as soon as I could.  Unfortunately, the vet closes at noon on Saturdays.  It was the same at suppertime.  I petted him some more and then went to bed because I was very tired.  I called out, "Herman, bedtime!"  like I always do, but he didn't come.  In fact, no kitties came to bed with me last night.  I spent a restless night, but there was nothing I could do.  Spyro and Oja showed up together to get into bed with me about dawn, which is about when I suspect Herman ran off to the Bridge.  Were they staying with him to comfort him?  I like to think so.  When it was light enough for me to see, I got up to get the kitties breakfast.  Spyro and Oja ran in and started eating, but no Herman.  Herman never misses breakfast.  I went to where I had seen him last and he was lying on his side, his favorite sleeping position.  It wasn't until I touched him that I realized that he had already left.

Was there anything I could have done?  I don't think so.  When Herman stated growling at Spyro when Spyro wanted to play, the first thing that crossed my mind was that maybe Herman wasn't feeling so good, so I started keeping a close eye on him.  When Herman got sick two years ago the first symptom was diarrhea.  Herman didn't have diarrhea.  I cleaned normal poop our of his litter box yesterday.  After I buried him in the garden, I checked where he had been lying to see if there was any mess I needed to clean up.  All I found was one perfectly formed little ball of poop.  When Herman wasn't feeling good, the first sign was that he started letting his tail droop.  He was holding his tail high yesterday morning.  Before when he was sick, he stayed on the floor and wouldn't jump up on anything. and stopped coming to bed for his cuddles.  He was up on his platform yesterday morning and cuddled with me Friday night.  The last time, he went off his food and lost weight at an alarming rate.  He needed more metronidazole Tuesday and I took him with me to weigh him and he had actually gained two tenths of a pound.  As I posted when Herman first got grumpy with Spyro, I thought Spyro had hurt him a little rasslin'.  I did find what felt like two tiny scabs on the back of Herman's neck.  I made sure I felt his neck every day for signs of soreness or swelling until the scabs disappeared, so Herman didn't have an abscess or any type of infection.

I was so happy when Herman reached his fifth birthday, thinking he was out of the danger zone.  If he had only had feline leukemia, he might well have been, but he had FIV, too, so maybe they both ganged up on him at once and carried him off.  I don't know.  I'm just glad he didn't suffer.  It looked like he just went to sleep and woke up at the Rainbow Bridge.  It is just five days until his third Gotcha Day.  Maybe Emma was there at the Bridge to greet him and maybe not.  They never did really like each other.  He has plenty of other friends there to greet him.  I am going to miss him terribly.  I think what I will miss most is calling out, "Herman, bedtime!" every night and having him join me for a long petting session and cuddle.  Oja is more that willing to take over that duty.  Sometimes she would beat Herman there and the both of them would cuddle up with me and each other.  I had one hand to pet each.  Spyro and Herman made up recently.  I saw them nose kissing only a few days ago. Spyro just stopped trying to get Herman to play and all was well.  They would eat out of the same dish together.

I will leave the present blog header up through Herman's Gotcha Day, then I will change the title to something else.  I am thinking of using Spyro's name and something alliterative, but nothing good is coming to mind, but my mind isn't exactly clear right now.  The tears haven't started yet, but I think I am still in shock.  I will write Herman a farewell limerick, when one comes to me.  See you at the Rainbow Bridge, Herman, my handsome boy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dona Nobis Pacem

All three of us wish peace and goodwill to all of you.