Sunday, April 3, 2016

How We Became a Cat Family (part II)

In October of 2015, my husband mentioned to his boss - how crazy it was - that we as 'not cat people' all of a sudden had a cat taking over our house.  Granted the cat (Nala) was our sons, but we had fallen helplessly in love with this little kitty. The thing was, she was a pretty independent kitty - and didn't care to be held and petted as much anymore. For goodness sakes - she was almost 5 months old.   And so Larry's boss said ... "have I got the cat for you."  He showed Larry this photo on his phone. 

They had just gotten home from vacation - and when he was out in the yard - he heard this crying - that he eventually found, was coming from this little kitty out in the woods behind his house.  He and his wife had 2 cats already (outside cats) and they didn't seem to take so well to her.  But he said, she just wants to be held and hugged and comforted.  He lives in a rural area with lots of woods. He went to his neighbors and no one had lost a kitten.  It was starting to look like someone had dumped her in the woods - after not finding a home for her.  She was well fed - and litter box trained. But after a week of having her in their home - no one would claim her. 

And so he and his wife brought her to our home. Yeah - I fell hard for her.  I said we were keeping her.  We did have to keep her and Nala separate for a while - as our new little kitty had  a terrible sneezing issue - with lots of mucous.  We took her to the vet - and they gave us some meds. They also figured she had been born near the end of July and was about 11 weeks old.   It was so hard to get a good photo of her - she is so dark. But her eyes..... 

It was pretty close to halloween - and so I tried to get some photos of her - you know the whole Black Cat and Halloween thing - I never realized that black cats were often the last to go in a litter - because people don't want them. That made me so sad - cause she was so sweet and so friendly. 

I got some mini pie pumpkins and tried to get a Halloween photo of her. I was pretty happy with this next one, as she lounged on the recliner. 

We took Nala and Lola outside when it snowed (very lightly) for the first time. 


Always trying to get a good photo of her ....  They both love to stare out the windows.

Halloween came and went and soon it was Christmas.  I was hoping to wait until after Christmas to get her spayed - our experience with Nala - had been pretty tough. Zach took the brunt of it - not sleeping and keeping her contained in a small area - with little movement and no licking of the stitches. Overall Nala fared well - but we needed to have eyes on her at all times.   So we knew - it would be best if we could have Lola's done while I was home on break. But ... it was not to be ....

Lola started laying down and rubbing her back on the floor and howling in an unearthly sound.  She laid on her belly lifting her little rump in the air.  Everything I read,  said Lola was in her first heat. 
 I called the vet and made the appointment as soon as we could.  They said it was more dangerous to have them spayed after they had gone into heat. 

All did not go well. 

We almost lost her. She came home after spending a Friday at the vet. She wouldn't eat - wouldn't drink - and the next day started vomiting. On Sunday  it got to the point she was vomiting 4x  in an hour - we took her to an emergency clinic.  Suffice it to say - we paid a ridiculous amount of money and they did nothing to help us. They gave her subcutaneous fluids - but not much else.  We brought her home - hoping she would last thru the night. Our little black marshmallow (oh she is soooo soft and squishy) had lost so much weight. 

She did last thru the night and we called the vet that did the surgery first thing Monday morning. The told us to wait it out thru the day - if she kept vomiting we were to bring her in Tuesday morning. We did. They gave her more fluids thru the day on Tuesday and prescribed an  anti nausea med and an antibiotic. When I brought her home Tuesday night - she ate .... she didn't throw up - The next day we could tell she was back to her little self. 


We celebrated Christmas - with a real tree - she and Nala - both loved it and tried to climb up the trunk. UGH!!

 But they have become best buds - our little girls ... "the sisters"

Nala is funny - almost like a momma to Lola. When Lola falls asleep upstairs - Nala sneaks over to her and grooms her and then falls asleep next to her. 


It is still so hard to get a good photo of her. He color changes, From very black to black with brown - but she still is the sweetest baby.  Never has she lashed out with claws. Never does she lose her temper with us (now - Nala is a different story - they have some knock down - drag out kitty fights). 

 But they are the best of friends.  Nala sleeps in the apartment in the basement at night - and Lola in the living room upstairs. As soon as that basement door opens up - Lola runs to it - waiting for Nala to come and spend the day with her. 

Our little Lola is getting big. 
Here are two photos - both have my youngest holding her. On the left is from October when we got her (about 3 months old)  and the right is just a few weeks ago at 8 months old.


I can't believe we waited so long to have this kind of pet. I never would have chosen a cat for myself - but we truly have come to enjoy them and their antics.  

Monday, March 28, 2016

How We Became a Cat Family

In May of 2015, my oldest son and his girlfriend brought home 2 kittens. Her brother's cat had babies and they of course each ...  had to have one.  So 2 little brothers,  just 6 weeks old,  Prince and Rain were welcomed to our family.  I mean ... how do you say no to these little faces?

They lived at their apartment - so we only saw them when we the needed us to watch them. 

Some background.  My husband was brought up on a farm, in Central NY  - and so believes that animals were meant to live outside. Cats belong in the barn.   Me? Well,   I always thought myself allergic to cats. Sneezed when I entered houses that had cats - but besides that - I've always been terrified of cats. Something about their eyes - freaked me out - and their claws and teeth.  Gave me the willies.

Growing up - my dad always kept fish tanks - from baby nurseries to 50 gallon tank. My oldest sister had birds. Goldie (I think was the first) and Flyer (the one I remember) - both parakeets.  My brother (10 years older than me) had a bunny (Pink Eyes), but that was before my time.

When I got married - my first birthday gift from my husband (1988) was a cockatiel, I named her Harmony.  Pictured below with my youngest son who was about 8 at the time.  Harmony was about 16 in this photo.  We treasured Harmony before the boys were born - she had a wooden playland my husband built for her  that was right outside the cage. She sang and danced and yes, even talked. "Come on out" and  "birdie' frequently chattered in her little birdie voice.

  Harmony even danced to the Beach Boys Kokomo song - while singing "birdie, bird, birdie. Bi-i-i-ir-die. birdie. birdie" to the melody line.  Sadly Harmony died from Kidney disease - when she was about 17.5 years old, about 2005.   The boys always wanted another pet - but we always said no. 

Back to May/June 2015 ... The oldest went on Tour with the band - and we watched Prince and Rain.   Yep .... and I fell in love with them.  So when our middle son (who happened to be out of town at the music festival as well)  called us and said he had a friend who found an abandoned litter of kittens - could he have one ... I said "ask your dad"  ... and he said,  "Okay." 

And here she was as I first met her.  Meet sweet little Nala 

Yes, her name came from the Disney movie "The Lion King" and she is Zach's cat.  He takes care of her - pays her vet bills - took care of spaying - etc....  He is such a good Cat daddy :)

She was just 4 weeks when she came to live with us. Her momma -a feral cat - frequently had litters - that she abandoned to other wildlife.  This bunch survived - because they were found before the hawks and raccoons could get them.  My son's friend - took them to a vet and syringe fed them, litter box trained them - and helped them all find homes.  How could I say no to this baby - who was so little - she still had trouble standing up?  

 We were all hopelessly in love. 

OH how she LOVES her Zachary!! It is so cute watching her wait for him to come home from work at night. She runs to the door - if she isn't already sitting on the stairs watching the door from above!

 I had a blast taking photos of her  when she was so little -  (the one above was taken by Zach though)

 But it has been a real learning experience. From finding a vet ... to choosing food, to getting her spayed - even choosing cat litter - dealing with illness, worrying about her getting outside (she is an indoor only cat ... but yes still has her claws) we have learned a lot, with Zach taking the lead on all of it.  Christmas was extremely stressful though - she liked to climb the trunk of the tree. 

She is 10 months old now, and is quite the independent girl. Zach lives in a finished apartment in our basement and so she lives downstairs with him. When no one is home - she is down there - where she can't get into anything. When we are home she is upstairs with us. She definitely is a cat bred for loving the outdoors. She climbs on EVERYTHING! We can't have doors or windows open - because she will climb on the screens.  She gets on top of the kitchen cabinets - on top of my book shelves housing my piano music - on top of my dining room hutch - and loves to stare out the windows at the squirrels and birds - chattering away at them.

We used to call her the dark princess - because she hissed and growled at anyone who came over to the house. But since the oldest is now living home with us again (minus Prince and Rain) - she has made friends with him - and we rarely hear her hiss or growl - except of course if I want to hold her and pet her against her will! LOL!

One evening at the beginning of October - I mentioned to my husband how I missed Nala sitting with me - and letting me pet her. She is so independent. That same week - he mentioned that to his boss.  His boss replied; "Boy do I have the right cat for you". 

And that leads into how Nala - met her 'sister' Lola. 

But that is a story for next time. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday March 25, 2016

I began blogging here on this blog, 7 years ago. About 2 years ago,  "Blogger"  told me I had too many photos and I had used up all my space.  I had a second blog - that I was woking on as well - 'Intelligent Expressions'  when  I lost my favorite software program for editing photos. I also lost my job and had to take on a lot of extra work to help pay the bills and make up for my lack of salary - and so - the blogs sat still.

Over the course of the last two years - so much has changed. I called back to my teaching position this past year - with an added challenge to tackle. I also have kept my part time job.  My 3 sons have all graduated from high school. One has a record deal with his band, the middle one works 40+ hours a week at a car dealership - while pursuing a love of photography, and the youngest is studying music performance at a music conservatory about 7 hours from home.

When I am working I have very little spare time - but I find I really have missed photography, and working with photos.

I still believe that life is still a composition, made up of many different parts. I use the internet to learn so much - an miss the interaction of others I used to connect with.  And so - I have decided to being again.

Some of you will probably kill me for what I am about to say - but I deleted almost all of my posts on the blog - giving me a fresh pallet to start again.

So here goes. I'm starting with two of our biggest changes. Photos first. Meet Nala and Lola.  More info next time.