Guest Star: Stevie Mouse

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest post comes from Dorothy Berry-Lound who runs an art website and you can also find her on Twitter:

There was a huge thunderstorm and I went outside to check what damage had been done. I saw what I thought was a mouse drowning in a puddle so I ran to rescue it. I realised it was a dying kitten and it had swollen, ulcerated eyes. I looked up and the outside cats were in beds in the dry under the outside stairs watching the kitten drown. It was one of their kittens and I guess they knew it was sick and left it.
I brought it in, thinking it could die in the warm and at peace. But after an hour it was clear the kitten was rallying. I decided to keep the kitten and called it Stevie Mouse, We went through all sorts of trials and problems as she was very sick and collapsed on several occasions. She couldn’t control her body temperature so I sat with her under a heat lamp in the middle of August – Italian summer, can you imagine? I was a puddle. But she survived and she can see well enough though has to live as an inside cat.
Stevie Mouse is now two years old and beautiful and the subject of many of my artistic endeavours.
She even looks after her ‘sister’ Emmy who has epilepsy and cleans her up when she has had a seizure.
Stevie Mouse has her own hashtag on Twitter #IamStevieMouse which is also the title I of a book I am writing about our life together.
If you are on Twitter you can follow me @ShannathShima

We hope you enjoyed her story.

Thanks,

Marc

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Baby Criminal Bailed Out!

It’s a little past one o’clock in the morning, and we are coming home after a nice walk on Ocean Drive, when we hear faint squealing. Right outside the police department, across the street from our house, stands a tall, young, Latin-looking policeman, holding something so small, it can’t even be seen. Lost in his huge muscular arms, the tiny peach colored fuzzy thing is squealing like mad. It’s a baby kitten!

“Where did it come from?”

“Something was squealing in the bushes,” – says the cop, “I thought it was a possum trespassing on police property, so I was about to call the animal removal people, but I went to investigate first, and here it is – a baby kitty.”

“What are you going to do with it?”

“Well, unless someone bails it out, our rule book says we have to take it to a pound.”

We heard the “p” word! There was a momentary hesitation: how would the two big cats, siblings who grew up together, do everything together, and rule the house together, take to the baby intruder? But the alternative was too terrible to contemplate! I took her into my arms and held her like a baby. The poor thing was trembling, but as soon as she felt the warmth of my body, she calmed down and went to sleep – like a baby.

At first we didn’t know whether it was a girl or a boy, so we came up with two names. The first priority, though, was to feed the baby. When we gave her a dish with kitten food, she almost inhaled it! We have never heard a cat making sounds like that while eating. She was ravenous – she must have not had anything to eat for quite a while, poor baby!

Once she ate her full, he became playful. She still wants to be next to Mama most of the time, but she also loves playing with toys, and she is a great explorer. Now we know – it’s a girl! She is about 4 – 5 weeks old, healthy, beautiful, and full of energy. As to the older cats, it was tough the first couple of days, but now they have accepted her.

Uncle Barmalei even lets her play with his favorite toy and catch his tail! He supervises her activities, to make sure she is safe.

The little trespasser is not a criminal any more; she is our baby.

Guest Tribute: Goodnight, Sweet Prince

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest post comes from Living Life Forte and is a Tribute to Richard Parker. Tissues will be a necessity for this story I am afraid. 🙁:

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

Richard Parker was acting out of sorts when I visited my adopted family at Christmas.  His mom was worried about his lethargy. He simply wasn’t his usual commanding self.  I went in to see my buddy, and he lifted his head for few pets and gave me a purr.  He looked at me through slitted eyes and nuzzled my hand. But his usual robustness was gone.  This was the fellow who always gave me a purr-rumph and came quickly when I called, “Where’s my Friend?”  He was the one who sat on his Stanford blanket between us when we ate spaghetti off tv trays and watched The Walking Dead.  When I stayed the night on a cot in the living room, it was Parker who slept alongside me, moving up to bump my hand should I awake from a curious dream. He was his momma’s boy, but he made sure to care for me as well.  And at Christmas he seemed to have simply caught a cold.

With the holidays and then rough weather, it was three weeks before I made it out to visit again.  When I entered the house through the kitchen, something was different.  Parker’s tuna dish was not there by the refrigerator, and his beautiful orange face did not come to greet me. I thought perhaps he was upset at my long absence.  But then my friend’s husband came quickly in and said quietly, “Parker had to be put down on Friday.”  The air left me.  I walked into the living room where my friend sat on the couch.  Her grief was visible on her face.  She told me how his health had rallied after Christmas but then he fell horribly ill.  A trip to the small town vet and then the state-of-the-art animal hospital yielded no answers.  He was failing fast and the devastating decision had to be made.  My friend had to say goodbye to her dear boy.  I hugged my friend and felt the heartbreak.  He was the one who cared for her when she was sad, and now he was gone.

For a few days, the other cats were subdued by Parker’s physical absence, and it would be several weeks before they came out to sit with us during our Sunday tv ritual.  And last week Bubba took a seat on the couch.

But I know that Parker’s spirit is still there among them.  My friends have heard his distinct call in the quiet of the house.  I envy them that.

We hope you enjoyed her story and don’t forget to check out her Blog.

Thanks,

Marc

Guest Star: Tigger and Daisy Mae

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest feature comes from Crystal Stewart and is about her two cats.

TIGGER AND DAISY MAE

Hello everyone, I would like to share the story of two of my rescue cats Tigger and Daisy Mae.

You see right before we rescued Tigger, we had another rescue kitten that died after a week because her previous owners flea dipped her to early.

We eventually rescued another cat and her name was Tigger. Tigger was a rescue cat that we got from a friend of mine at work. I know you’re probably thinking how is your cat a rescue cat if you got her from a friend at work.

The following are some reasons that make Tigger a rescue cat and they are:

1. My friend had so many cats that not all the cats got treated equally
2. Tigger was the runt of the litter so she didn’t get treated as good as the other cats
3. If you would’ve heard some of the things the previous owner did, you would’ve rescued her too. In fact, some of the things the previous owner did could have been consisered abuse in some instances.

When my family brought Tigger home, she was scared to death of all of us and even ran and hid from us. When I came home from work, I found her in my bedroom closet. She eventually warmed up to Mom and I and it took a little bit longer with Dad.

However, in Tigger’s old age she couldn’t get around as good as she used to and that’s about the time Daisy Mae came into the picture. The following is the story of how we found and rescued Daisy Mae.

One night when I came home from work, I could hear something. As it turned out, it was a cute and adorable little kitty cat with good lungs. We estimated that the little kitty cat that we found or rescued was about 4 weeks old. Of course my family and I fed her and put her in a nice warm bed in the garage and eventually brought her into the house.

We did get to see the mother cat who kept coming around after she dropped off her kitten at our place. We always thought the mother cat wanted to make sure her kitten was going to be taken care of and when she reallized her kitten was going to be taken care of, the mother cat stopped coming around.

A few days later we had my nephew’s 4th birthday party and we let my nieces and nephew name the kitten. The nieces and nephew decided to name the kitten Daisy Mae. My sister and brother-in-law gave us a cage for the kitten but it ended up, Daisy Mae was so small she was able to get through the holes in the cage.

Since we had Tigger at the same time as Daisy Mae, we had to figure out a way to introduce the cats to each other. We put up a screen door and that worked well for a while but eventually the screen door came down. When the cats were finally introduced to each other, everything for the most part went well. Of course, Tigger was the one that did all the hissing when the screen door came down.

Since Daisy Mae was the younger kitty cat, it helped Tigger become more playful and more mellow. In fact, Tigger warmed up to my Dad right before she passed away on September 11, 2015. We miss Tigger everyday.

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As for Daisy Mae, we have had her for 10 years and this year will be 11 years. Daisy Mae has been a joy and a blessing. We love her a lot. My family and I feel that God brought us Tigger and when she passed away, God brought us Daisy Mae. My family and I felt that God knew we would eventually need some joy and we would be sad when Tigger died. The joy Daisy Mae has brought our family is beyond words. Daisy Mae has been a blessing that is for sure.

By Crystal Stewart

Tribute to Jamima – The Human Cat

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest feature comes with much sadness! Jemima from Hell onWheels/Life One Handed has sadly passed over the rainbow bridge… Tissues will be required for this tribute!

JAMIMA – THE HUMAN CAT

Jamima face

9th March 2017

So, my apologies if I share some stuff about Jamima patch the pirate cat puddle duck. Seems important for me to share it now. Firstly, Jamima came by this name over time. She came home with her first and last names. Jamima is a well-known doll from the ABC children’s show or children called Playschool.

Puddleduck happened because she wasn’t very kitty litter tray literate. Clearly, I took care of that, mostly.

Over her left eye, Jamima has an interesting patch motley colour. So, that and the fact she loved to sit on my shoulder when she was younger and she so wanted to be close while I did the dishes after work. I would put her on my shoulder while I did it. When housemate ‘B’ came home he would come over and offer her his shoulder, B being taller she happily moved on.

I’ll save some good stories for when I’m ready to reminisce. For about 5-6 years now, every Friday I would finish my shopping adventures with my carers at my local shopping complex by visiting the pet shop. Kitten season of course was heaven but the rest of the year they usually had a cat or two from a shelter to be rehomed. They even have interesting names and a little profile. The pet shop often had bunny rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, I think you get the idea.

Jamima eating

I was a familiar face on a Friday and the staff knew I could be trusted to give a cat a friendly tickle and they also were aware I had a fur-baby at home. Early visits to the pet shop I humoured my carers who couldn’t understand my wanting to visit by telling them, it’s fine! I’ll just go home and act like I haven’t cheated on my cat.

The staff at the pet shop also were made aware that there would come a day when I came in very red-faced and sad and would be prepared to take home any furry ‘thing’ that they had at the time. That pet shop relocated about 6 months ago, not far but I no longer get to visit. Possible a good thing.

Jamima 5

The decision to let Jamima go to heaven in peace was easy when it came down to, if she was happy, if she was coping and if she could go on or was she distressed or in pain. It was not to make life easier for me to deal with her passing.

The vet was lovely, compassionate and empathetic in all the right amounts. She let me know I was the right person to make the decision for when was time and she told me many people wait too long. She kept offering me time at every stage of the process and that I could have longer if I needed. I admit and confess I was a complete mess from the moment I walked in. But tissue boxes appeared both at reception and in the procedure room. I was asked if I had done this before and I said no but I intended to be there.

The procedure went as expected, and I was no sadder than I expected. I also didn’t change my mind which I gather the vet thought I might do considering how miserable I was. Anyway, the procedure was efficient and painless, all things considered.
I left the room ahead of the vet and my last look back, I watched the vet flip part of the towel she lay on over her body. Her head was turned to the side and her ears were visible……. as I’ve seen her so many times before.

The tenderness from the vet was beautiful. I might write her a card at some point to thank her. Jamima has been left there for short term storage until mum is down next. As I think I mentioned.

Arriving home, I got busy collecting her food bowls and water containers so I wouldn’t be constantly reminded of her absence. I’m yet to move her scratching post, toys and sleeping cube. I have collected all her polar fleece sleeping blankets and the covers that were to discourage her from scratching the couch. The first night was really strange, habits of moving my glass from my couch armrest a foreign action of neglect. But it seems today, Jamima was here. Or winking down at me. She kept me busy today washing bed linen and organising the carpet to be dry cleaned. As she had obviously left some smelly patches conveniently in each room.

That’s my girl.

So many places I expect her to be. I leave doors wedged open and others closed purposely to cater to her having been here. Yet she is not. It might be a good thing I’m to be moving to a new space I’m not reminded of her absence. There is my old couch I’ve moved more times than you could imagine, in the last two years that lives in front of my heater in the lounge. It’s on wheels but I couldn’t part with it while Jamima was still with me as she loved to go under it and hammock herself inside the lining underneath. I found her there only Monday morning, me lying flat on the floor, hand underneath patting her head and ears. Her only time out of her hiding place, enough to get constant pats, her purring music to my ears.
I don’t know when I’ll welcome my next fur-child into. My home and my heart to nestle in beside the hole Jamima has carved out and will remain always but it will be when the time is right.

Until then I probably should avoid pet shops. I’ll keep you updated and you will be the first to know. Thanking you all for your understanding and support.

And many thanks to my friend Boo who chauffeured us to and from the vets and for the hugs and back-rubs. He himself having received horrible news that morning as a friend had chosen to end his own life.

I realise this might be hard to hear and it’s not a point I intended to make in this post but it is relevant because my Boo’s horrible news didn’t stop him from being there for me. It had been a serious challenge to find someone to help me. So now it is late and time to wind down, make a cuppa T and single task and likely shed a few more tears.

Sweet dreams.

Guest Star: A Tribute for Spinner

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest feature comes with much sadness! Spinner one of our good friends over at Purr and Roar sadly past away last year. 🙁 Please find below a tribute post from Tori!

I read the following quote last year and for some reason it sat in the back of my mind. “The trouble is – you think you have time.” It’s a little cliché, but profoundly simple in its meaning and would become more so as the events of the past few months unfolded. I consider myself to be proactive, but like everyone I will put off things thinking I have time to do it later. Time to finish a project, time to make a decision, time to pursue a dream or time to spend with those who are important in our lives – human or animal.

In September the time I thought I had with my cat Spinner would be suddenly cut short bringing everything in my life to a halt, and literally breaking my heart in the process.

cats, pet loss, pets with cancer, cats with cancer, saying goodbye, cats are family, adopt don't shop,

Spinner 2006 – He knew how to work a good photo

I adopted Spinner in 2005 from Toronto Animal Services where he had come in as a ‘stray’ (for his back story check out my guest blog post about Spinner on Katzenworld). He was a very special and unique cat – physically he was a handsome stunner with the personality to match. He fit into our already two cat household and became good friends and adopted brother to our beautiful and gentle house-panther Simon.

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Spinner and Simon enjoying the cat bed and the sun

In 2009, our tabby Cleo passed away and in 2010 Simon, both had lived to 18 years old. Simon’s passing was really difficult but Spinner was there to help me through it. When you lose a pet you realize how precious your time is with them so Spinner now the OC (only cat) was spoiled. Spinner was a special cat in many ways, beautiful on the outside with a funny, sassy, smart, talkative, loving personality that won hearts and had me wrapped around his little paws.

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Sleeping in his favorite chair

Spinner was the cat that was always there, literally. He ran to the door when I got home, looked for me when I wasn’t there and slept by my side every night. If I was on my laptop he would settle in between the laptop and me resting his chin on my arm. If I was on the couch he was there and if I moved he followed. He loved to be held, would wrap his arms around you in a hug and enjoyed jumping on your back when you bent over. He loved belly rubs and purred all the time – he sounded like a tiny motor boat. He was a super relaxed cat and enjoyed the attention from people around him. Whenever someone new met him they couldn’t help but fall in love.

cats, pet loss, pets with cancer, cats with cancer, saying goodbye, cats are family, adopt don't shop, silver tabby,

All tucked in for bed – the cold months were made for cuddling

No matter what kind of day you had Spinner made it better and when things weren’t going well, they were made better by being around him. Spinner was my best friend and knowing he was home made coming home better. There was no reason to think that his time would be cut short as his recent senior wellness check at the vet this spring showed all was in excellent order, for a 13 year young cat he was doing great. Then, just after the September long weekend – he stopped eating and I booked an appointment for the vet the next day.

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The first vet diagnosed him with pancreatitis but a trip the Vet Emergency and X-ray the next day revealed that he had a large mass in his chest cavity. The vet said it was likely cancer and due to the location no traditional means of treatment would help. They also had no way to know for sure how bad it was without a biopsy which they were reluctant to do because of the location. Immediately the option was to provide palliative care – which meant fluids, vitamins, sub-q and an appetite stimulant to get him eating and to keep him comfortable. At that point I don’t think the diagnosis fully sank in but I will say Spinner was handling things better than me.

Driving home that night from the vet it started to process and I began to research other options and booked an appointment to see a holistic vet for the following week. In the meantime Spinner perked up the next day and started to eat so I promised him we would try to do everything to help him as long as he wanted – that if we could cure him we were going to do it, he was going to be the ‘miracle’ story you read about. That afternoon emotionally and physically exhausted we had a nap, Spinner squeezed in between me and a pillow and purred – it would be a special memory that I will always hold in my heart.

cats, pet loss, pets with cancer, cats with cancer, saying goodbye, cats are family, adopt don't shop, silver tabby,

Enjoying a spot of sun

Spinner did well for a week but then he stopped eating again. I had tried everything to get him to eat on his own but as a temporary measure the syringe feedings would help him get by as his system started to settle. As long as he was drinking, going to the bathroom normally and maintaining healthy weight the vet said that we could keep him comfortable and in the meantime a trip to the oncologist was recommended for the final opinion on the mass.

Spinner was trying, I could tell and I knew he was trying for me. He had become a different cat in a very short time, he stopped playing and took to sleeping under the bed or on top of it he began spending less and less time with me. He showed little interest in anything except sleeping and taking his food, drinking or using his litter box. There were however many good moments where I was hopeful the support was working to build his immune system and he would have the miraculous cure that I was hoping for. Whatever he wanted or showed interest in he would get – cat grass and spider plant to munch on, his favorite treat of peanut butter and trips outside for fresh air. During this time I was a mess and when I did cry it was a wail – a sound of deep despair, it was the sound that I can only describe as coming from my soul. It was hard to keep it together but I was able to function normally by focusing on caring for him. When I broke down Spinner would often come out from under the bed lay down on the floor, look at me and start to purr – we had many cuddle sessions like this which would last for a short time before he would go back under the bed again.

The trip to the oncologist sadly, did not go as I’d hoped, in fact it was worse than I or the regular vet had thought – Spinner had multiple tumors in his liver, pancreas as well as the one in his chest cavity. The oncologist also found a lump on his shoulder bone which she suspects is where the cancer started. It was a rare and very aggressive cancer and there was no treatment, no cure, keeping him comfortable until he said it was time was the only option and that it would likely be a few weeks. The official word that there would be no cure, no remission was devastating, he was only 13.

In under five weeks Spinner had declined but he didn’t start to deteriorate quickly until late September early October. A week before I made the call to a vet to discuss at home euthanasia he did two things that he hadn’t done in over a month – he went to the window to look outside and he sat on my lap, stared into my eyes then jumped off. I realized that all this time he was preparing me for life without him, even though he slept by my head every night he was sending me a message and the signs were clear. I was worried that I wouldn’t know, but there was one clear sign that would help me make the decision that all pet owners dread and even fear.

He was such a gentle, patient cat and was unbelievable through everything and I never wanted to let him go, however I couldn’t watch him get worse I had to let him go. Six years ago I had to make that choice for Simon and the memory of that experience brought back all the emotions, but I don’t know if that was a good thing. I knew what was coming, the pain, sadness, emptiness… the only difference was I had already started grieving for Spinner before he was gone and it had been happening for weeks.

I made the call to the vet to look at booking an appointment and even though I knew it was the right and compassionate choice it did not make it any easier. During my initial call I didn’t commit to a day or time instead I took a day to decide and had a conversation with Spinner. I told him that I loved him and that it was OK for him to go home, that he would see Simon, maybe Cleo to and any of his friends he knew before he came into my life. I was sorry I couldn’t help him and I would miss him more than I could ever say – we should have had many more years together.

I stayed home on Spinners last day, which was beautiful and sunny. He had one last meal in the morning and I told him that he would no longer have to endure syringe feedings. We had a nice visit outside in the sun where he walked around the garden sniffed the flowers, plants and fresh air. When he was ready he walked back inside to rest. Some of my friends who had known Spinner came by for a visit and to say goodbye and of course Spinner being a social cat made sure to come out and greet them all.

The vet arrived at the scheduled time and as we prepared and went over how everything was going to transpire, Spinner calmly lay on the same pillow where he had slept every night for the past month surrounded by his friends and with me by his side. Surprisingly I had stopped crying earlier in the day and this strange calmness came over me. As I spoke to Spinner and gave him tons of kisses he purred. He purred right up until the sedative took effect and his eyes closed. On October 13 at approximately 8:30 pm he took his last breath and his heart slowed to a stop.

cats, pet loss, pets with cancer, cats with cancer, saying goodbye, cats are family, adopt don't shop, silver tabby,

Our final moments together – Spinner was beautiful and peaceful

Before we wrapped Spinner up in a towel with his favorite toy mouse and placed him in a fleece blanket lined basket that the vet provided I noticed something. His eyes had shut completely and there was a single tear in the corner of one of his eyes. I wiped it away and we gently wrapped him up placing him in the basket. A part of me knows he did not want to leave and I like to think that the single tear was his way of saying goodbye, that he was just as sad at having to leave me as I was having to let him go.

The next days following were hard, very hard and the reality of his loss hit me. His absence was at times unbearable and knowing he wouldn’t be there when I came home was really difficult. It has been up and down since, some days it is fine and other times it hits me, but I guess that is all part of the grieving process. While it does get better there are some losses you never really get over, they stay with you, take a part of you and even change you, I know this was one.

Spinner will be gone a month next week and before now I hadn’t been able to write about him or determine how to pay tribute to a very special cat whom I adored beyond words. I am lucky to have tons of photos and video of him, so I put together this video to showcase his beautiful personality and moments throughout his life with me.

Spinner I hope you are watching and with me still, thank you for being part of my life.

Special thanks to Dr. Banks of Midtown Mobile Veterinary Services for taking the time to talk to me about at home euthanasia and providing the information that I needed to make a very difficult decision and to Dr. Ellis for her professionalism, kindness and compassion with Spinner on his last night.

 

Tori-Ellen

www.purrandroar.com
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Angel’s Eyes: Do I fit or not that is here the question…

Hi friends and followers,

I seem to have gotten myself into a bit of a pickle… would someone mind giving me a paw or hand to get out of here?

20140708_193219_resized

It seemed like a perfect fit – now I am not too sure about that anymore! Someone help me! 😮

On a more serious note… do your furfriends tend to get stuck in random objects too? Let us know!

Thanks for reading,

Angel’s Eyes