Sunday, January 26, 2014

Good-Bye to CC, an Extraordinary Cat

Yesterday was a sad day for us as we said good-bye to our cat, CC.
We found CC in a commuter parking lot in the fall of 2001 when she was about 6 months old. I had no idea at that time, what an important part of our household she would become.
CC would grow up to become an extremely tolerant, patient and dog savvy cat.  We "used" her to test the reaction of more than 50 foster dogs around cats.  
In the nearly 13 years of her life with us, there's no way to count how many times CC's food was eaten, 
she was chased, pounced upon, 
played with, 
stared at....  
and searched for...
Being a cat, she of course stayed above it all, and there was hardly ever a hair out of place on her soft black and white coat.  
I don't think that CC ever felt like she was a member of the canine-pack, however, she was totally accepted by all of the dogs.
~Sam and CC~
Of all of the dogs that CC knew in her lifetime, there were only two that she had a connection with, one was named Ben who passed in 2003, the other was Lucas.  I don't know what it was about these two in particular and why she allowed them into her very small circle, sometimes licking their faces when she thought we weren't looking.  I think that when Lucas passed last spring, she missed him worshiping her at her feet.
CC was the perfect cat for our big multi-dog household.  I've said for a long time that if there was a Sainthood for cats, CC should be one. I've no doubt that there will not be another cat like her.
CC's passing is the end of our cat ownership for now. I feel that with Shadow, it would be best to wait to add another.  I do not remember a time in my life where I've not had a cat, so CC will missed even more, not just by us, but Todd and the other dogs too. 

 God speed CC.  I have no doubt that there was a huge canine welcome at the Rainbow Bridge, and that Lucas and Ben were especially happy to see you.  We will look forward to seeing you there again one day too.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Perfect Snow-Day

 We may have gotten a day off work because of the snowstorm today, but Old Man Winter is working overtime!  Snow has fallen all day, and temperatures are predicted to plummet into the single digits.
However nothing could stop us from enjoying time outside today.  Several times I bundled up and with my cameras all charged, the dogs and I played outside in the snow.
Josh (left) and Sheba think that a game of frisbee is fun in any weather!  
When we got cold, okay, when "I" got cold, we went inside.
Of course no snow day is complete without the proper snow-day food. We enjoyed biscuits and gravy for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and fresh baked cookies as a snack.  
It was, I think, a perfect snow day!
Whatever your weather was today, I hope it was a perfect day for you too!

**Thank-you all for your kind thoughts and healing vibes for our cat, CC.  Unfortunately she's not any better and is having problems standing.  The snow-covered roads wouldn't allow for a trip to the vet today, but thankfully CC is resting comfortably, and doesn't appear to be in any pain and will even purr when we hold her. ** 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CC--The Most Tolerant of Cats

Our little cat CC is probably one of the most neglected things at our house.  Now, don't get me wrong, she's fed a good quality food, has a warm place to sleep, and we make sure she is always kept safe.  But for the past 13 years, CC has pretty much blended into the background and doesn't get the attention that the dogs do--But she's an extremely easy going and laid-back cat and has always seemed okay with that.  All of the dogs, regard her as part of the pack, and for the most part leave her alone -- Yes, there is Todd who thinks she's a good playmate, and of course Shadow thinks she'd make a pretty good meal, but CC is very tolerant and takes all of this in stride, never complaining.  

But even for this mostly ignored cat, it was easy to notice that CC wasn't feeling well last week. A food bowl that usually gets licked clean by one of the dogs, became a little snack instead because she wasn't eating.  Added to that were a few very uncharacteristic "accidents" and CC sleeping in out of the way places.  It all led us to the vet on Saturday and a not so encouraging diagnosis, kidney failure.  We were sent home with an IV to keep her hydrated and the most tempting food we could find to hopefully get her to eat.  So far, it's not working, but we're not giving up, and I hope that this most special and unique cat isn't either.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Game of Dog and Mouse

~Sheba and Todd~
Up until 2011 when Todd came along, we never had a dog that could catch and try to kill something with such extraordinary focused ability.  And up until September when Shadow came, I never had a Golden that could do that either. This afternoon both Todd and Shadow each caught and killed a mouse.  Both were tiny, harmless creatures that were going about their business along the edge of our barn.  The other dogs were totally unaware of the small lives being lived just inches from where they had been walking.  I too would never have known of their existence, had I not been outside and heard Todd exclaim in excitement and saw a small tail hanging out of his mouth.
I managed to get the mouse from Todd with a little bribe that he foolishly fell for.  Then a few minutes later, it was Shadow's turn.  The life of the mouse he caught ended along the edge of the barn without his even breaking stride.  Shadow had snatched the poor creature and was busy administering the fatal chomps when I grabbed him and made him "drop it."
I have to admit that I was saddened by the death of the two little mice which I buried just inside the woods. Todd moved on from the excitement this afternoon but Shadow remains totally convinced that the mice must somehow still be along the edge of the barn.  Even in the darkness he was staring where nothing had happened for hours--He is such a Golden!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

McDonalds Anyone?

It was an early start on Saturday with a vet appointment for Cissy at 9 o'clock, and Shadow was along because I was doing a home visit for the rescue afterwards.  I'd left a little bit early because of the pouring ran, but I decided I'd stop by McDonalds and grab a quick breakfast.  Of course on the drive-thru speaker there was someone who I'm quite sure had never used it before.  I placed my order and it took about a full minute for her to understand “plain sausage biscuit and a diet coke”.  She asks if I want the meal with a hash-brown, and I tell her “no” but I see that a hash-brown has been added anyway--I bear with it and go to the window to pay and sort it out. It gets figured out, and I drive ahead and I wait and I wait... I finally receive my bag and when I get on the road I look inside the bag and OF COURSE, there's no biscuit, but a breakfast wrap and a hash-brown.  I decide to go back, even though I have to drive 2 blocks, sit at a light and make a u-turn to do it. I finally get back to the McDonalds, park, go inside and ask for my correct order. The lady at the counter looks totally puzzled, disappears to the back and returns with a bag and many apologies. Of course it's not really a problem -- I'm not upset at all, I'm just someone who just wants the right order.  By now I'm really running late, and I have to get going.  I get back on the road, and look in the bag, and what do you think I got?  A Sausage McMuffin with egg, and a hash-brown.  I know, why didn’t I check the bag before I left?  

Fortunately Cissy's vet visit went pretty well, even though she does have a really ugly ear infection and is now on antibiotics.
Afterwards we were running late (again) and it was Shadow's turn to help me do the home-visit. The family are two-time adopters from the rescue, and have a nine-month old baby and hope to adopt a young dog from the rescue.  **(NOT Shadow)**   Even though we've only had Shadow since late September, there's no doubt that he is a very, very gentle dog; but I have to admit that I was more than a little bit nervous with him around the baby, especially when they kept putting the baby right in his face. However,  I think I would have felt that way if they'd done that with any of our dogs.
With the vet and home visit and other errands checked off our list, it's now lunchtime and I'm really hungry. Cissy and Shadow could use some water, and we're about 20 minutes from home.  McDonalds is right up ahead, and yes, I'm really tempted, but it's still pouring rain, I'm tired, and I think it's best to just drive past.  I just don't have the energy.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Here's to Hoping!

My work week is finally at an end, and so is the brutal cold and that we had on Tuesday.
~Josh (left) and Sheba~
Tuesday also was also a day for a little celebration at Golden Pines, it was Annie's 15th birthday. The life expectancy for a Golden Retriever is about 12-14 years, so a milestone birthday like this one is a call for a little celebration--And this is especially true for our gem, Annie. She has really slowed down, and as is natural for a gal of her respectable age, she sleeps most of the time.
And the results from her last vet appointment a couple of weeks ago showed the progression of  renal failure that we've known about since she came to us almost two years ago.  But over lunch a couple of weeks ago, my friend and mentor for the senior dogs suggested that I feed Annie raw green tripe.  With her appetite not the best, I decided to try it and she really loved it! For nearly two weeks she ate all of her meals. But I guess the newness has worn off because her appetite has started to wane again, and she didn't eat this morning. However I'm hopeful it'll pick up again, and we will make our two year anniversary-goal in April.  So, here's to hoping!
And here's to hoping you have a good weekend!
~A cold little Cardinal on our porch railing~

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's Doggone Cold!

We said farewell to 2013 this week and like any year, there were ups and downs for all of us. I hope I'm ready for the challenges that this year will bring.  But ready or not, 2014 is here.
~Todd on New Year's Day~
Our year is beginning with record breaking cold, bringing with it snow that started falling just as I was leaving work on Thursday.  My one hour commute turned into nearly 3 hours where at one stretch along the highway I counted 9 cars that had slid off the road.  Exhausted, I went to bed early only to be jolted awake about 3 o'clock in the morning by what could only have been the sudden silence.  The high winds that had been blowing all night had knocked our power out.  Navigating around the dogs in total darkness I found my phone to report the outage to the utility company.  The dogs were of course now totally awake, and wanted to go outside to bark at the wind and maybe have a treat or two.  After everyone was back inside, all we could do put another dog *blanket* on the bed to stay warm and hope the power would come back on soon--And yes, mentally go through that list of things that we DON'T have for a power outage, and wonder why I hadn't made sure we had those extra batteries?
Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long for the power to be restored.  Despite the still dicey roads and blowing snow, I did make it to work by 10:30.  Now we're waiting for it to warm up.
~Cissy on the 'forbidden chair' keeping warm~
According to the weather forecasts, we may be waiting a couple of days for that. 
~Shadow, who always finds a way to get his nose dirty  ~
The dogs are the only ones who seem to be okay with that.  
Enjoy your Saturday!