Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuxie Tuesday

I am getting a lot of use out of my ham-mick these days.  I can't believe that Mom forgot to include all of our blogging friends in the things that we are thankful for.  I don't know what she was thinking.

Karen Jo:  I wasn't thinking very much.  My brain was still full of how much I was missing Emma.  Your fur is growing back nicely, Herman.  It even looks a little wavy.

Just in time, too.  It's getting cold around here.  Mom left the door open and the screen door closed and I went up to the screen door to check things out.  I soon retreated because the air coming in was so cold.  I don't know how Mom goes out in it in just her shirtsleeves.

Karen Jo:  I am only out long enough to feed the birds and change the water in the birdbath.  It's not too bad as long as the sun is shining.  You have been pretty cuddly lately.  When I sit on the couch to read, you often come up on the couch and sit beside me.  You have even put your head on my thigh. Are you turning into a lap cat?

You wish.  I do like to be near you and get petted, though.  I like to play with you again, too.  I am playing with almost all of my toys, even some of the wand toys. I even played with Da Bird for a little while.

Karen Jo:  That surprised me a little.  You hardly ever payed any attention to it before Emma came.  I am glad that you are playing with me and even chasing your balls around and running down the hall.  You jumped up on the sink for a drink of tap water a couple of times, too.  I was afraid that you would turn into a lounge cat and lose the muscle tone that you built up playing with Emma.

We are almost out of Duck and Pea.

Karen Jo:  I know.  I am reluctant to buy any more.  You didn't lose any weight last month.  You didn't gain any, either.  I am thinking about not giving you any more Duck and Pea until you lose the rest of the weight you need to lose.

Dang, not only didn't you bring me any turkey, now you want to cut down my buffet even more.

Karen Jo:  I tried to buy us a turkey yesterday, Herman, but all they had were really big ones.  I will wait until I can buy one of the smaller fresh turkeys again, then you will get some turkey.  As for cutting down on your buffet, you have to lose some weight.  I want you to stay healthy.  From what I have read about FeLV, if you make it through your fourth year, and you are halfway there, you stand a good chance of living a normal lifespan.  I don't want anything to compromise that.

At least I still get some treats, though not as many as I would like.

Karen Jo:  I wouldn't make you go without treats completely, Herman.  I know how much you like them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Karen Jo:  These china quail mean Thanksgiving at my house.  My mother always used them for table decorations.  I am thankful for many things -- my home, my family and Herman, mainly.  I am also thankful that I got to share in Emma's joy of living for eight and a half months.  What are you thankful for, Herman?
I am thankful for this nice sunspot on your bed.  I am also thankful for my forever home and my Mom who does so much for me.  I am thankful that I got to know and play with Emma for a few months, even though I wasn't always nice to her.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuxie Tuesday

I am sitting my my toy baskets, trying to decide whether I want to play with what Mom has gotten out for me today, or pick one out for myself.  I went with Mom's choices, though I didn't play with all of them.  Mean Mom deserted me for most of the day.

Karen Jo:  I left the house for my teeth cleaning appointment a little after ten and didn't get back until a quarter to one.  At one my friend called and wanted me to go with her to visit her mother in the nursing home in twenty minutes.  I didn't get back from that until three-thirty.  I did try to play with you after I fed you on my return, Herman, but you didn't want to.  I invited you to share my easy chair while I read after I did my chores, but you only wanted the chair.  I moved to the couch and you took my warm spot on the chair.  I tried to play with you again after supper, but you weren't much interested. At least you joined me at bedtime last night.

About midnight last night I jumped up on the bed and stared at Mom the way I do when I think it's bedtime.  She actually put on her PJs and came to bed.  We snuggled all night.  I got a lot of petting.

Karen Jo:  I was so glad that you wanted to come to bed with me again that I petted you until I fell asleep.  We stayed that way until dawn, when I had to get up to use the human litter box and I fed you.  I was so happy that you came back to bed after you ate.  I really missed you those two nights you didn't come to bed.  I think we were both missing Emma quite a bit today.  I found Herman in her room twice, lying between the litter box and the spot where Emma passed away.  Herman used to only go into Emma's room to use the litter box or play with Emma.

You told me that you are deserting me for Thanksgiving.

Karen Jo:  That's right.  I am going to my brother's house Thanksgiving morning and coming back on Friday.  Don't worry, the same nice lady is going to come in and feed you and give you fresh water.

Does that mean that I don't get any turkey?

Karen Jo:  I will ask for some turkey to bring home.  If it all disappears, then I will cook a turkey just for us soon.  How's that?

I guess that will do.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mancat Monday

I am up on my big pillow in front of the window, washing my face.  This is a spot that Emma and I shared.  Sometimes I would get up here and sometimes Emma would.  Mom finds it interesting that I got up on the couch that Emma preferred yesterday, even though I had not been up on that couch since Emma moved in with us.

Karen Jo:  You seem to be moving back and forth between spots that Emma used and spots, like your bed by the heat vent, that she never went.  You also used Emma's litter box almost exclusively yesterday.  I wonder if her smell lingering in these places comforts you.  I cleaned and put new litter in both boxes today, as it was long overdue.  I hope that didn't upset you.

Heck, no!  It was high time that you put new litter in the boxes.  You took the food and water out of Emma's room, but you refilled both litter boxes.  Why?

Karen Jo:  You have gotten so used to using either box that I thought I would keep both boxes filled up.  If you stop using one of them, then I will cut you back to just one.

Hey, kitties, you will never guess what has showed up on my buffet!  I have kitten food again and I got a treat of baby food yesterday and today.  I was feeling too sad to eat the baby food yesterday, but I cleaned it up today.

Karen Jo:  Don't get too used to it.  I decided to let you have the kitten food that was left in Emma's bowl and to give you the baby food that I was going to try to tempt her to eat.  When that is gone, you won't be getting any more.

I'll just enjoy it while it lasts.  You didn't share your lunch today.

Karen Jo:  You didn't show up to ask for any until I was on my last two bites of roast beef sandwich.  You can have some roast beef tonight, if you want it.  Speaking of not showing up, where have you been at bedtime the last two nights?

I have been sleeping in my bed in the living room.  I did join you just before dawn both mornings.

Karen Jo:  Yesterday morning I thought you just wanted petting and didn't get why you kept putting your paw on my face.  This morning it finally dawned on me that you wanted early breakfast.  You haven't asked for early breakfast in a very long time.

Well, I want it now.  You should be glad that I am waiting until just before dawn instead of o'dark-thirty.  Why didn't I get my lunch until just now?

Karen Jo: Sorry, Herman, with all that has been going on, I just forgot.  You should have reminded me.

I have been sleeping, so I guess it's OK this time.  I want you to be more punctual in the future.  It's not like you are all that busy. 

Karen Jo:  I have had a busier day today than in a long time.  I got up early to cancel Emma's vet appointment, so they could get some other animal in her slot.  I did my usual chores and cleaned the litter boxes.  I played with you more than usual, as you have been more playful with me.  I went to the grocery store.  I finally applied for my Social Security, which I should have done weeks ago.  That trip to the allergist has really paid off.  The new medication has made me feel better than I have in months.  I actually have my energy back. Before today, just getting my daily chores done has been all I could do and I didn't always finish all of them.  It's too bad that Emma didn't live to see the new/old me.  She would have enjoyed the extra play time.

I am enjoying it.  We played with the blue-mousie-on-a-string that Emma got for Christmas in July.  I don't usually play with wand toys, but maybe watching Emma have so much fun with them gave me ideas.

Karen Jo:  Herman seems to understand what happened to Emma quite well.  He is not looking for her, unless he is doing it after I have gone to bed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Goodbye, Emma

Karen Jo: I want to thank all of you for purring so hard for Emma.  It really means a whole lot to me. This is the most recent picture that I have of Emma that shows her and her personality well.  She ran off to the Rainbow Bridge last night.  It all happened so dang fast.  Tuesday she was running and playing and being my lap cat and Saturday night she's gone.  I keep asking myself if I missed something, but I don't think I did, really.  She was a bit more subdued after the fight with Herman, but not much.  She was a bit more leery of Herman, but I thought that quite normal.  The vet checked her over very carefully and there was no sign of any injury.  Wednesday, she hid all day.  Thursday she was lethargic and I whisked her off to the vet, who found nothing.  Friday she was weaker, but still jumped up in the easy chair to sleep on the fake sheepskin cushion.  Saturday she seemed about the same during the day.  She was moving around the room, though very slowly.  I sat with her for over an hour starting about 4:00.  She was over by her bed, soaking up the heat from the heat vent and I went over and spent some time petting her.  She made some funny little noises, like she was maybe in a little bit of pain, so I stopped petting her and went to the easy chair to read.  After a bit, she walked over to lie beside the chair, where I could easily reach her and I started petting her again.  I kept on petting her until I had to get up to go to the bathroom.  When I got back, she was in her hidey-hole, too far back for me to reach her.  I checked on her hourly, but she stayed in her hidey-hole until I found her in the litter box at 9:00.  She had gotten in and done her business, then hadn't the strength to get out again.  When I picked her up to put her on the floor, she was so limp that I think I knew, deep down, that she wouldn't last the night.  I got the syringe and gave her some baby food because I didn't want to believe it.  I petted her and talked to her, but she was very unresponsive.  I left her and left the light on because I didn't want her to be in the dark  I came back at 10:00 and gave her some more baby food, petted her and talked to her, again with very little response.  I stayed as long as I could, but seeing her like that was more than I could bear for long.  When I came back at 11:00 she seemed cool to the touch and I think she had already gone, but I didn't want to believe it.  When I checked her at midnight, there was no denying it.  Rigor mortis had set in.

I slept very little last night.  I wrote her a limerick, because I had to do something other than lie in bed and wonder if I could have done anything differently.  I will be posting it a little later.  She is still there on the floor of her room.  This morning, I opened the door to her room and took Herman back to see her.  He sniffed her paw for quite a while, then went around to his little hidey-hole under the sewing machine.  He was attracted to her food, but kept looking back at Emma. Finally, he reached out and very gently touched her paw.  Then he nibbled on her kitten food and left the room.  In a little bit I will go out and find the shovel and see if the soil is frozen or if I can dig her a grave.  There is a spot under the living room window just across from the bird feeder where I can bury her. If the soil is frozen, I will put her in the garage until tomorrow when I can contact the vet about having her cremated.

Most people stop blogging for a while after losing a loved one, but I think I will be blogging more.  I need to keep my mind occupied and it's good to know that other kitties are having birthdays and gotcha days and house trashing parties.  Goodbye, my dear sweet Emma.  I will miss you so much.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This is kind of dark, but you can see the contrast in my ruff, which wasn't shaved and my lower chest, which was.  I am growing fur back, but slowly.  Mom hasn't taken any pictures lately.

Karen Jo:  I promise to take new pictures of you, Herman.  I am not going to take any pictures of Emma until she feels better.  I hate to see her lying flat on the floor.  The Emma update is that she is not doing too well.  The good news is that she is still drinking and using the litter box.  She does feel much more comfortable in her room with the door closed.  She moves around the room and last night I even found her upon the fake sheepskin cushion in the easy chair.  The bad news is that she isn't eating.  I bought some baby food today and she wouldn't even lick a tiny bit off my finger.  She just turned her face away from it.  I am going to mix up a slurry of baby food and water and syringe some into her tonight.  I syringed a little water into her today and it prompted her to drink more water on her own. So far she is hanging in there and she does have some body fat, but not much.  I know that I can only syringe one ml of the diluted baby food into her at once, but does anyone know how many times a day I should do it to keep her going?

I want to go see Emma.

Karen Jo:  I am sorry, Herman, but you can't.  She is too sick.

Now that I can't play with Emma, I am playing with my toys again.  Mom and I played for a long time this evening.  Mom plays with me whenever I want now.  She gives me good stuff to eat, too.  I have gotten chicken, steak and roast beef in the last couple of days.  I am getting more treats than usual, too.

Karen Jo:  I have to watch myself to see that I don't spoil you even rottener than you are now.  I am glad that you want to play with me again.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Purrs for Emma

Mom took this picture of Emma and me occupying the bed together on November 6th. Don't we look peaceful together?

Karen Jo:  You weren't so peaceful a couple of days later.  I was standing at the kitchen table reading my mail and giving Emma a pet or two, with you sitting in my chair looking on.  I then went to my room and shortly thereafter head kitty fighting noises.  There you and Emma were on the kitchen floor kicking each other like crazy.  Your first real fight.  Are you really that jealous of her?

Yes.  I didn't really hurt her and let her go as soon as you asked us what we were doing.

Karen Jo:  You did let her go, but whether or not you hurt her remains to be seen.  I checked Herman over for wounds immediately and didn't find any.  Emma hid for three hours and I checked her for wounds as soon as she came out of hiding and didn't find any on her.  Emma then sat in my lap and Herman came into my room to see what was going on.  He got up in the computer chair and after a little while raised his paw, as if to swat at Emma.  Emma growled and I said, "Don't you dare!" and Herman put his paw down.  The next day it looked as if everything were back to normal.

Everything was back to normal, but you were too lazy to blog about it.

Karen Jo:  I have been feeling too tired to blog.  It looks like I have developed asthma.  I am now on a medication for it and I am feeling a bit better.  I will be back to regular blogging.

You forgot about my Gotcha Day.

Karen Jo:  I didn't forget it completely.  I knew it was coming up, but I didn't check on the day until it was too late.  I'm sorry.  Your Gotcha Day was the day I realized that I hadn't seen Emma all day.  I found her hiding under the couch and let her be.  Thursday I discovered that she was very lethargic and was lucky enough to get her into the vet that afternoon.  The good news is that her temperature, lungs and heart are all perfectly normal.  The bad news is that she could have a hidden abscess caused by a claw puncture during the fight, though the vet says that she has never seen a case of that where the cat didn't have a temperature. The really bad news is that her feline leukemia could have become active.  The vet sent me home with the pink liquid antibiotic to give Emma twice a day for a few days to see if she improves.  Today she is very weak. She doesn't fight the antibiotic I squirt in her mouth, though she doesn't seem to like it.  When I got up this morning, I found her by the water bowl in the kitchen and she had peed on herself.  This worries me very much because Herman never did that even when he was at his sickest.  I cleaned her up and put her back, but she crawled under the kitchen table.  I left her alone for a little while, but decided that she would be more comfortable in her room on the warm carpet than on the cold kitchen floor.  Her food, water and litter box are all close at hand in there.  I got her kitten food off the tall shelf and put it on the floor, then went and got her and put her near her food and water.  Herman came in to see what was going on and immediately gorged himself on the kitten food.  I let him.  I went to make sure that I had an extra dish, so I could give her some Medley in her room and Herman followed me, both out and back in.  Herman walked up to Emma and sniffed her all over, then bent over the top of her head.  I thought he was going to give her a comforting lick, but he just sniffed, then raised his paw and took a swat at her.  She dodged and scooted away from him.  I immediately evicted Herman from the room and shut the door. I brought Emma back to her food and water and petted her a little, but she wanted in her hidey-hole under the corner table.  I have been in and out several times and spent quite a bit of time with her, just reading in the easy chair.  She did come out and sit by my feet for a while, then went to her bed by the heat vent.  I was glad to see that, as I thought she would be comfortable there.  I had to leave her to do stuff around the house and when I came back, she was back in her hidey-hole.  So, Emma is back where she was when she first moved in, locked up in her room, because I can't trust Herman around her.  I will visit her often and spend time with her.  I made another appointment for her on Monday.  If the antibiotic works and she improves significantly, I can cancel.  If she stays the same or gets worse, the vet will take a blood sample to see if the feline leukemia is active.  Please purr for her.  I am very worried, because if it is the leukemia, she doesn't have the reserves that Herman had to fight it.  She has only lost a tiny bit of weight, but she is tiny herself.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem

We are both purring for peace.  Emma and I made peace with each other.  Though we still have the occasional spat, it is never anything serious  We hope that all the people in the world can follow our example.  We know it won't be easy, but we purr and purr that it will happen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupy the Bed

 The Krasota Kastle Cats started the Occupy the Bed movement and we decided to join in.  Here I am preventing Mom from making up the bed.  This makes the point that we think the bed should belong to the kitties.
Emma:  Mom keeps a soft throw at the foot of the bed and I have claimed it as my own.  It's dark and makes it hard to see me.  I nap here quite often.

We could take up more room if we would both occupy the bed at the same time, but we never do that when Mom isn't in the bed and we rarely do it when Mom is in the bed.

Emma:  The only times we are both in bed at the same time is when I beat Herman to bed and grab his spot next to Mom.  He has to be contented to sleep by her legs.

Karen Jo:  Thank goodness that little trick of yours hasn't started any spats, Emma.  You both respect the first cat in the bed gets the petting rule and don't get jealous (usually) unless I try to pet both of you.  Sometimes (rarely), neither of you comes to bed with me and I have to sleep all lonely.

It's that coughing and shaking the bed that keeps us away, I think.  Sometimes we get all comfortable in Emma's room or the living room and don't feel like moving just because you decide it's bedtime.

I got to go outside.  Don't worry, it was in the stroller.  I am beginning to enjoy the stroller more.  I didn't start complaining until we were almost at the vet's.

Karen Jo:  I just took you in for your monthly weighing.  You weigh exactly the same as you did last time.  I'll take that as good.  I don't know how you recognize the vet's before we go in, but your complaining goes up a notch as soon as the sign is really clearly visible.

You take me there every month, of course I would recognize it.  I had to really ramp up the complaining before you would take me home again.  You just stood there talking and talking.

Karen Jo:  OK, you recognize the vet's by the sign or whatever.  Why don't you stop complaining when we get close to home?  Surely you recognize home.

I do, but I am still cooped up in the stroller and I want OUT.

Guess what?  Mom roasted a cross-rib beef roast and I liked it.  The only beef I have liked before is steak and rib roast.  Mom gave me little bits whenever she ate some herself.  I really bugged her about it.  I even jumped up on the table while she was eating, which is a big no-no.

Karen Jo:  You got your fuzzy butt coaxed off the table right quick, too.  I am glad to see you jumping up so high again.  You even jumped up to the sink for a drink of water the other day.

I got it, too.  I love faucet water.

Emma:  I am totally all right again, all well.  Herman and I play chase and boxing again just like we used to.  Herman was really nice.  When he realized I was almost myself again, he started to play with me gently.  He jumped out at me and made me run, but didn't chase me and didn't try to swat me.  He waited until the next day to start playing a little rougher.  I have only run to my hidey-hole once since I got well and I didn't stay long -- just until Herman went away again.  I have also become a lap cat.  I sit in Mom's lap for at least a little while almost every day.  Herman watches sometimes, but doesn't try to do anything to make me get down.

I don't care if you sit in Mom's lap.  I don't want to sit there.  I think you get a bit more attention than you deserve, but I get attention, too.