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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Two Adoptable Pets

Fundraising T-shirts available at the shelter

I had a vision the other day. First I saw Mewdy Blue from the backside as he walked away from me into a doorway. Next, the door was closed and all I could see of him were his paws reaching out from under the door. I’m not sure what to think of this but I’ve chosen to believe that he isn’t going to talk to me until I get going with things I’ve been avoiding. So I’ve come back to my blogs today. My return is going to be to help some Story County Animal Shelter pets find homes.

First I’d like you to meet a handsome fella who has a special need. I didn’t find a name on his cage so I decided to call him Maximum because he is a fair-sized cat with a heart full of energy. Though he has longhair his fur is easily maintained. He has already been through two adopted homes because the adopters didn’t do their research before taking him in. In the first home he didn’t get along with the resident cats so he returned to the shelter. In the second home he didn’t like the family dog,

When I approached him through the bars of his cage he acted upset –aggressive but not mean. I could tell that he’d gotten a whiff of the other cats and dogs on my hands. After I wiped my hands with an alcohol solution I found that he was very receptive to my approach.

Maximum has been living in a cage too long! He’s got a lot of pent up energy that needs to be released before his true personality can shine through. Let’s find him a home as an only pet, with no children either. I think someone is going to find a truly wonderful boy behind those golden eyes.

Just to be fair I also took a photo of a very sweet Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever-type dog. He is a barker in the shelter setting but when I stopped to take pictures of him he was quiet and just begged for my attention. Anyone who has ever had a Lab or Retriever knows how special these breeds are. They are smart, loyal and happy-go-lucky puppies throughout life. I’m sorry that I didn’t collect any information on the dogs today but how can you pass on a face like this:

You can meet these two wonderful pets at the Story County Animal Shelter but remember that the holidays will affect their hours. Call ahead before visiting.

The shelter is located at:         975 W Lincoln Highway
Nevada, IA 50201
Ph: (515) 382-3338

Their hours are:                       M-F 11 am to 4 pm
                                                Closed on holidays and weekends

You can see more of the pets awaiting adoption at the shelter website and updates on their Facebook page.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

As Butterflies Go

The calls of cats passed were too strong for my sweet Lady Butterfly to ignore. She joined them this morning floating where butterflies and Bluebirds fly over the Rainbow. I can only pray that Mewdy Blue’s dream message the other night is true: she is happy and healthy tonight. If only I could be so happy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lady Butterfly

Almost 20 years ago I lost Gabrielle’s Galaxy, my best friend Gabbie. Two years later my precious baby boy Misha Baryshnikat joined her. The reason I bring this up now is because the other day I found myself calling their names as I looked for Lady Butterfly. I’m not sure if it is a case of a “maternal” mixing of names or if, just perhaps, those two are now hanging around Lady as she struggles with the late stages of kidney failure.

Misha Baryshnikat

I sometimes feel as if my life is in a downward spiral. Year after year I lose this cat then that cat and each loss is worse than the previous one. True, I’ve had good things happen too but it’s hard to see those things when loved ones are dying.

Lady in 2009 mid-rollover
Lady has been a tough little girl but she’s really having a hard time of it this week. I started treating her with Sucralfate to battle the high levels of phosphorus in her system, Lactated Ringers solution supplemented with potassium because her potassium is low and Azodyl to eat up all those toxins her kidneys can’t deal with. She’s been eating the Iams kidney diet as long as I mix it with water so she can lap it up but now she’s not so happy with that. This week I am giving her anything she will eat and that usually changes every day. (this morning she seemed to be happy with Purina’s kidney diet, tonight she's eating Iams Recovery Formula, what next?)

I’m just afraid that she may not make it to the end of this year. That would mean three cats this year. Then only Sky Voice is left to represent my first feral colony even though he was born in my house. But I’m trying not to look at it that way. No, for now Lady is fighting and I am helping.

It’s just that feeling I got when I called out Gabbie and Misha’s names. Are they really here? Are they trying to call to Lady? I don’t want her to go with them, not yet.

UPDATE:  It doesn't look like Lady is going to make her 19th birthday. I've been carrying her around the house today and tonight she is restless. Right now she's hiding from me. Not a good sign for cat who's usually so cuddly. This is not going to be a good night.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Awards Time!

Me at my retirement show in October

Glitter here again. My human is just too humble sometimes. I think maybe it is an Iowa thing. We don’t usually like to crow about achievements or make a big deal out of things.

Yep, today was the first snow of the season!
But this time I think she’s gone too far. On Saturday she came home with a box that had a really hard rock-like thing in it. She called it a “trophy” and said it came from the Cat Writers’ Association.

From what I understand this is a really big deal. Kinda like those regional awards we cats win. Maybe even bigger! So finally she has a trophy to put on the shelf with all of ours. Why in the world didn’t she post it right away?

B.W. Huckleberry checking it out
So I’ve decided to do it for her. She won the Pro Plan Pedigreed Cats Award for her article in Cats US entitled “Harder Than It Looks”. Here’s the description of the requirements for the award:

Pro Plan® Pedigreed Cats Award, sponsored by Purina, is presented to the writer or creator of the best entry of the year that focuses on cat breeds, pedigreed cats, and professional breeder issues including (but not limited to) health, care, nutrition, and showing cats.” (from the CWA contest rules)

B.W. still checking

In this article she described the work that goes into developing and maintaining a cattery. Sometimes I think our house should be called a cattery and all these other brats kept in cages. It would make my life a lot easier. I wouldn’t have to go around slapping sense into those other twits.

Here's what Mulberry Spot thought of the award (he always thinks he should be the center of attention):

Anyway, since today (11-11-2013) is the human’s 3rd Blog-iversary this is a well-timed award. I think we should celebrate all night long – but first I have to lock the other cats in the bathroom.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Demetrius, part 2

Well, now that I’ve got that malware cleared up and life has settled down for the winter I’ll take you back to my story about little Demetrius, aka Demon………..

Demon supervising
So I learned all about cat shows. First I needed to make something to decorate Demon’s cage. Since I’d never been to a cat show before I didn’t really know what that entailed except that the show flyer gave me the dimensions of the cage. I decided to use poster board and set out to design some “demonic” illustrations.

Now you have to understand that the Iowa State Fair is held in August, nearly the hottest part of the summer – and the most humid. The cat show was upstairs in one of the older buildings. No air conditioning, no fans. The benching cages (the cages where the cats spend most of their time) were in one room and the judging occurred in another room. This might have worked just find except for the fact that this new attraction drew in what seemed like every body in the whole fairgrounds!

We sat beside our cages crammed as close to the tables as we could so the crowds of spectators could walk by and see our cats. I was so nervous and the cats were hot. The afternoon receptionist sat next to me with her own cat and we waited – and waited.

I can’t remember how many cats were entered but it was a lot. They only had to see two judges each day but it took forever. Even worse we couldn’t get in to watch the judging because of the crowd. When our numbers were called we squeezed through with our cats, placed them in the judging cages and then left.

Later, if we were lucky, we’d hear our cat’s number again and hope we’d won a prize. When I heard Demon’s number again someone told me it was for a tie-breaker so when they told me to go back in to retrieve him I figured the other cat had won. Imagine my surprise when, as I picked up my little Demetrius, the judge handed me a trophy! Screamin’ Demon had become the first cat to take first place at the very first Iowa State Fair Cat Show!

See how bad I was with that camera?
We went on to attend many other shows over the years but his winnings were never as wonderful as that first time. And of course I was hooked and became a nearly lifelong cat show competitor.

When I started college my visits to the clinic slowed down. I began working at a different clinic and began showing my own cats so I didn’t see Demon as much. But when I did stop in my boy would immediately jump right back up on my shoulders and my heart would melt.

Eventually Demon’s kidneys began to fail. Doctor gave him the finest treatments but he finally saw that quality of life had dwindled. Visits to the clinic are no longer as cheerful as they used to be. But I am thankful for all that Demon gave me. He is one of the reasons I know how to appreciate the cats I now have in my life. He also taught me that the heart does not forget. Demetrius lives in my heart for as long as it beats.

Monday, September 23, 2013


I came to the sudden realization the other day that this month will be the fortieth anniversary of the day my first show cat came into my life. The 23rd kind of sticks in my mind, as well. I think this is the day he was born but I don’t have that written down anywhere, just in my faulty memory.

Nile and Gunnar, my German Shep/Lab mix
 He was born a barn cat, little Demetrius. That tiny blue kitten with a very long name. Nile was his mother. She was just the sweetest black cat you could ever imagine. We’d found her a short time after we moved into our first house in the country. She emerged from the culvert along the gravel road, an old flea collar securely fastened around her neck and her right front leg. We cut it off and washed up her wound but it had been there so long that a good amount of scar tissue had formed around it. She walked with her “elbow” pointing out the rest of her life but seemed happy enough to have a family.

Back then we weren’t allowed to have pets inside the house, except for my mom’s Siamese, that is. Oh, and my fish. Not knowing any better we let Nile have kittens to fill up our acreage and she was a good mom. Unfortunately the neighbor’s German Shepard began killing Nile’s kittens one by one. Finally one day little Demetrius was the only one left. Since he was mine, unofficially, I swept him up and took him into work with me.

You see I’d been working as the part time kennel person for a local veterinarian. He was new to the area having just moved from California. He’d bought the practice from a retiring veterinarian. But he wasn’t new to Iowa, he’d actually grown up here and graduated from Iowa State University. I learned early on that he was a cat-lover – and a sucker for a sob story.

I walked in through the front door of the clinic with the crying kitten and begged the doctor to take him in. He had inherited the cat that lived at the clinic. But that cat wasn’t very social so I convinced him that he needed Demetrius. He agreed without much thought. I could tell that our morning receptionist wasn’t so happy about the deal but what could she do?

Well it didn’t take long before he grew into a new name, Demon. They said they’d shortened it because the clients couldn’t remember Demetrius but I could tell there was more. Seems Demon had taken to climbing up clients’ legs to get to their shoulders. I’d always carried him around on my shoulders so I guess it was my fault J. As soon as he was big enough Demon lost his front claws.

For a time after that he’d stand beside people and just scream at them until they either left or picked him up. His name grew with him. Soon he became Screamin’ Demon.

But that wasn’t good enough. He learned how to climb up on people using only his back claws! He was a determined little cuss and I loved him so much. Eventually he lost his back claws too. But by then he’d grown big enough that he could jump up on my shoulders. Doctor told me not to let him, but when we were back in the kennel room by ourselves he rode on my shoulders all the time.

He soon learned of new ways to irritate the morning receptionist. One day when his least favorite receptionist was working he decided to take a nap on top of the patient files. She was mad enough at him for getting in her way but when he finally decided she’d had enough he “christened” the files in one box in his own aromatic way and left. He was banned to the kennel room for a week after that. (And Doctor’s son told me recently that was the first time he’d ever heard such curse words!)

But the clients all loved that boy and asked why he wasn’t out. So he got a reprieve.

Demon knew how to push his luck though. One of his biggest fans was a woman who had beloved cats of her own. She’d come in to buy food or meds for her cats and sit down to talk with Demon. Almost invariably he’d nip her hand and she’d squeal then laugh. But one day he bit too hard and the receptionist banned him to the back rooms again.

I think she more reasons though. I heard that they’d been finding little piles of turds in strategic places all around the clinic. Most were found around the reception area. Do you think he was sending her a message?

When Demon was almost 2 years old the other receptionist told me about something called cat shows. I’d never heard of them before but she had Persians and showed them once in awhile. Turns out the Iowa State Fair was going to hold their first ever cat show and the afternoon receptionist thought we should take Demon. He was used to being around other people and their pets so he surely would be able to handle the environment.

Next time I’ll tell you all about that experience and maybe add some pictures as I find them. Unfortunately I was using a 110 Instamatic back then and didn’t take very good pictures so there aren’t many to find.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What is going on here?

Hey, everyone. I’ve never posted here before but my person isn’t getting it done so I thought I’d take over for a bit. She sits in front of the computer day after day but never gets anywhere. I think it will happen eventually but until then – here I am.

My name is Jabberwoky Glitter, no, that isn’t a misspelling. Check out my registration papers. No ‘c’. Okay, so I’m not a registered pedigreed cat, just a technicality. I mean I know my pedigree. Where do you think my aqua green eyes came from? My daddy-o had that blue-eyed, lynxpoint Siameezer gene and me ol’ mum has a touch o’ the Ir-r-rish in her jade green eyes and patches o’ red hair. Just because none of that is on paper doesn’t mean I can’t be an award-winning cat.

People say that I win ribbons because I don’t have “torti-tude” like others of my ilk, or color and the judges are pleasantly surprised by it. But they don’t know what I’m like at home. Nobody pushes me around there, no sir-ee! I just make nice in public so the cameras can catch my good side.

The reason I’m writing tonight is because something really strange happened here last week and I wanted to tell someone about it. Here’s a video of the dumb little imp, Gooseberry, meeting a bag of mulch for the first time, before it all happened (he such an idiot making a fool of himself on camera):

Did you notice the grass? It has become all tan and crunchy, not at all fun to walk on like it used to be when it was green. The trees even started to lose their leaves several weeks early for some reason. I’ve heard some humans saying it is a self-preservation thing so they don’t die – they are going into dormancy. I think you can see the prairie plants in the background too, they’ve already lost most of their flowers. The butterflies are having a hard time finding any flowers to feed on.

Anyway, soon after this video, I think it was Wednesday, it happened. The sun didn’t really come up that day, or at least I couldn’t find it in the sky. In the afternoon I thought I heard some rumblings, like a noisy machine starting up but it sounded like it was getting closer and closer. Then suddenly Tourmalina came skittering downstairs yelling that the sky was falling! Well, the rest of us ran back upstairs to have a look out the windows to find out what she was talking about.

I didn’t see anything at first but as I stood looking out, I felt something hit my nose. Lady must have felt something too because she shook her foot and jumped down from the window. Then I noticed Two-ey, that outside cat, shake his head and look upwards. He must have felt it too. Then he shook all over and headed for the cover of his lilac bush. None of us could figure out what was going on but our person decided to close the windows. I headed downstairs.

Two-ey under his lilac bush
An overhanging porch protects the back door so she left it open for a while. Some of us decided to set up a lookout there and boy did we get an eyeful! First we heard the crackling of that crunchy grass like someone was walking on it. Then all the birds disappeared and grew very quiet. The rumbling increased and loud cracks broke open the sky!

The leaves on the plants and the lilac bushes started bowing. Obviously something was hitting them but what? No longer protected by his bush Two-ey ran for his life across the street. He has another hiding place but I don’t know where it is. Finally Tourmalina’s forecast came true – the sky truly was falling! Something fell in sheets out of the sky through the trees and all around us nearly flattening all the plant-life around us and making the cement look wet. Blizzard, that weirdo dog, started dancing around like he had to go outside (he refuses to use the litterpans, in fact, he likes to eat out of them!) but when our person let him out he wouldn’t go past the porch. I just laughed.

Blizzard bustin' in on Mewdy Blues' photo session
I had no idea what it all was but something niggled in the back of my mind. It all seemed a little familiar but it had been a loooooooonnnnnnngggggg time ago. Our person didn’t act at all concerned so we just settled in and waited for it to end. The cracks and booms startled us every now and then but nothing damaging really happened. By Friday it was all over and life has gone back to normal again.

Has anyone else ever heard of anything like this? Can you help me remember what this wet stuff is that opens up the sky and falls down on the earth outside? The plants seem to really like it. They’re standing up again and the grass has even grown a little. Maybe it’s a good thing but I can’t stand anything I don’t understand, do you?
Aren't I gorgeous?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Here it is September and I’m still stuck in July. I want to thank all of you who responded so kindly to my post after losing my boy, Mewdy Blue. I am still devastated by his absence. I see a long, lonely road ahead.

Some things around the house have not changed but others have changed in odd ways. I just read a post by fellow blogger Deb Barnes ( ) where she mentioned that her house still looks like a hospital after the loss of her precious cat, Jazz. Well, if you look around mine you’ll see those same signs.

I confiscated the dog’s kennel for Mewdy Blue while he was on I.V. fluids to make sure the I.V. didn’t come out. Today, I still can’t open that kennel for Blizzard. He is puzzled when he looks around for solitude. I can just hear him asking, why can’t I get in? I did take out the litter pan and water bowl but I haven’t washed the blanket he last slept on.

It wasn’t until just last week that Mewdy Blue’s last two pills made their way into the trash. I had set them out that Saturday morning as I tried to fool myself into thinking he would be able to take them. The metoclopramide bottle still sits beside the microwave ready to give a dose. His empty sodium chloride bag still hangs on a hook beside my desk. I just can’t throw it away yet.

Misha Baryshnikat
His own carrier, the one he ate in and the one I used to transport him wherever we went, still sits in its place atop two others, the door closed and the decorative pad still inside. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to use it for anyone else. After Misha Baryshnikat left for the Rainbow Bridge one cold, snowy winter evening, I didn’t use his carrier for many years.

Then there are the intangible or invisible things that remain. For instance, every night the very last thing I did before going to bed was to give him his Denamarin and a kiss. The box sat next to the sink in my bathroom so I wouldn’t forget. I donated those remaining doses to my vet so some other patient might benefit from them yet every night I look to that spot as if to take out another dose. That leads to a new tear each and every night.

I used to weigh all the cats once a week and send that data to my vet for their records but I haven’t been able to do that…………..since that day. I can’t handle making any list without his name on it. I can’t even take down the note taped to my kitchen cabinet listing the meds I give out twice a day. If I make a new one it wouldn’t have his name on it.


However, now every night Glitter has taken over my lap even though it has been way too hot for such close contact. Mewdy Blue used to be there. I think she’s happy about it. She fought to be there before but my special boy refused to back down.

Sky Voice
Sky Voice seems to be happy he’s the only blue kitty left. He demands more attention all the time even lying in Mewdy Blue’s spot on the bed at times. It is hard though to see his blue fur popping up onto the bed or slipping into my office. For just an instant (shorter than a second) my heart leaps in joy that is quickly cut off. It’s not that I don’t love Sky but he isn’t Mewdy Blue.

Who me?
Mulberry Spot has stepped up to demand more of my attention. He meows at me all the time unless I pet him, I guess I am reinforcing that behavior. Whenever he meows I pet him over and over. I also got the ingenious idea to start taking him outside on a leash in hopes of creating a more calm show cat. Now he wants out more and mostly after dark! Come October we’ll see if my plan works.

I guess the cat most affected by Mewdy Blue’s absence is Gooseberry. He used to follow Mewdy Blue around as if studying his moves. If Mewdy Blue got into something, Goose was right with him, much to the elder cat’s chagrin. When Mewdy Blue came to me for a treat or for attention, Goose always worked his way between us rubbing Mewdy Blue on the face for effect. Now Gooseberry is noticeably absent during most times. After his meals he goes right upstairs and stays there until the next meal.

When I get a toy out he’ll come down to play but he hasn’t been very energetic about it. He used to be extremely crazy when playing. But I’m not going to worry about that just yet. We’ve had a horrendous heat wave of late that has kept me pretty inactive as well. Now that things have cooled down a bit we’ll see if he improves.
Lady Butterfly in a playful moment

And finally I think 18-year old Lady Butterfly is enjoying her extra attention now. It used to be when she would jump on my lap Mewdy Blue would jump up and lie on top of her. She’d grumble and run off in a huff. When she slipped under the blanket at bedtime, he’d do the same and slowly nudge his way between us. He was kind of a passive aggressive type with her. While we haven’t been using the blankets lately she has been sleeping next to me for a time.

So some things have changed and some stay the same. My life will never be the same without my buddy beside me. But it was a wonderful life while he was here.

[Thanks to a recent post on my friend Bernadette’s blog ( ) I found a nearby pet funeral home that is having services this Sunday, Sept. 8, for Pet Remembrance Day. I plan to attend. If you live anywhere in central Iowa see for the details. If not, look around your area for similar events.]

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rabbit Hopping

I finally got out to see a new sport this past spring. The 4-H kids are spearheading a thoroughly entertaining activity called “Rabbit Hopping.” It was so much fun to watch these rabbits do what they do best. And because most 4-H Fairs are going to be taking place this week I thought this was a great time to post this. Maybe I can convince you, my readers to attend your local 4-H Fair to see Rabbit Hopping for yourself.

Now if you’ve been following my blog you know that I am involved with feline agility. So I am somewhat familiar with the concept. I think though that what feline agility and rabbit hopping have in common is that both take advantage of the animals’ innate ability.

Rabbits are born for this! I could tell that many of the kids involved were very nervous. Remember how it is when you are young and stepping up in front of a crowd of people for the first time? Then imagine that you had to rely on your pet to perform and not embarrass you.
I think this rabbit was a little nervous

I don’t think any of these competitors (rabbits or humans) had anything to worry about. They all performed so well.

Rabbit hopping courses are varied in both difficulty and structure. In this particular competition they started with a simple, straight line of lower jumps. Next the moved on to a more difficult course that zig-zagged like two connected “z”s.

Next they raised the bars for higher jumps on each course for more of a challenge. Unfortunately I had to leave after that but they were preparing for a high jump and a long jump. I’d really like to know how you get a rabbit to understand it has to jump “long.” If anyone knows please explain in the comments.

Ready to go!
I spoke with some of the kids and parents while I was there and learned that training the rabbits is a lot like training cats. They use either treats or toys as lures in the beginning but in competition use neither. Some also use clickers or other sounds for training. And like a cat whose athleticism is inborn, a rabbit’s ability to hop is only natural. They perform because jumping is what they want to do.

I could tell that some of those rabbits were definitely spoiled pets. One in particular acted like he was used to sitting on chairs next to his girl. She held him on a leash but whenever she sat down he tried jumping up to the chair next to hers. Unfortunately those slippery metal chairs weren’t made for bunny feet. I was fascinated watching how devoted he was to his girl.
Not at all concerned with the crowd
On the chair just before slipping off

Another rabbit that caught my attention and even had me laughing was the tiniest of competitors. I’m afraid I know nothing of rabbit breeds so I can’t tell you what he was only that he was tiny with the most wonderful, big eyes. And yet when it came time to raise the bars he didn’t hesitate to jump them. Or, perhaps I should say he was willing to jump them but he did hesitate.

He was hilarious to watch. He would jump over the obstacle with ease and move to the next jump then turn his back to it. He wasn’t refusing to jump because when his boy reached down toward him he turned back around and jumped that obstacle. But then he turned his back to the next one! He was so funny.

See how fast they can go?
Of course 4-H stands for “Heart, Hands, Heads and Health” so any activity associated with 4-H includes not only education but also fellowship and moral development. I watched as kids who were new to the sport learned how to work with their rabbits. But I also saw and heard competitors helping each other to overcome any training problems or questions. And the officials or superintendents also stepped in whenever needed to show the competitors new methods for enticing their rabbits to stay on course. No cutthroat contests here.

I just loved watching both the kids and the rabbits having a great time with this new sport. I hope it catches on elsewhere too. I think the value of rabbits as pets could benefit from rabbit hopping. Perhaps more people will be adopting rabbits out of shelters in order to participate.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mewdy Blue

I am so heartbroken tonight and find it extremely difficult to report that Mewdy Blue is gone. I'm sure everyone here will understand if I can't respond to comments for a bit. Thanks for all of your support.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Oh, dear God,
Please hear my prayer
Please help my Mewdy Blue
Fight of this awful monster
Wracking his weak body tonight

He fought off this virus when he was a baby

I know I should be asking instead
For that which is best for him
But I am selfish
I ask for myself because I don’t
Want to be without him
I ask for him because he doesn’t
Want to give up yet

He was always a "Tough Guy" Here he's picking on Bluebird

Please God hear my prayer
And help us both tonight
This selfish human who can
Bare no more loss
And this wonderful feline
Who has given so much to so many

Littermates (clockwise) Bluebird, Question, Mewdy Blue, Sky, Fuzzball

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mewdy Blue Update


Tonight Mewdy Blue is still hanging in there but hanging on your every prayer. He made it through last night pretty well staying in the dog’s crate with all his necessaries (a soft furry rug, water and litterpan). I stayed on the hard wood floor right next to him listening for his every movement. I think I must’ve fallen asleep for a bit because I suddenly awoke to the phone.

At first I couldn’t figure out who would call in the middle of the night but then I realized that light was seeping into the room around the curtains! Our veterinarian’s office was calling to get an update on Mewdy Blue. After that I spent the day pretty much the way I spent the night, checking on my boy, offering him food every now and then and giving him his meds when necessary. 


I find myself pleading to his beloved mother, Effie, sister, Bluebird, and brother, Question, to help him through this. I ask them to please not take him to join them yet. It is too soon.

As I said, tonight he’s holding his own but I let him out to walk, or I should say stumble, around a bit. He really wants to go upstairs, and I would love to go up and sleep in my bed, but it is so hot up there. At 9 pm the heat index was still 101 degrees! So I guess I’ll be back on the floor again tonight. At least we have air conditioning in the living room.

So thanks for all your prayers and positive energy but please don’t stop. He needs all the help he can get.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mewdy Blue is challenging me again!

Just a short note to let you all know that Mewdy Blue is fighting liver failure once again. He has been to Iowa State twice today but is home for the night. Believe me, if I sound like I'm doing okay, I'm not. I'm a total wreck!

Mewdy Blue decided against food on Wednesday and has been fighting me ever since when it comes to eating. Early Friday morning he actually ate 1/2 can of his D/D but then while I was out he "expelled" it all over the kitchen floor. (At least he did it on the tile floor rather than the wood floor and since the dog can't get into the kitchen I was able to see that it happened)

This morning he was turning a little yellow again so I figured maybe another night of IV fluids might bring him out of it like it did in January. Well, the doctors didn't think that would be necessary. You see, while he was in the clinic Mewdy Blue ate another 1/2 can of food!!! They decided to send him home with me though I was a little leery of the car ride. Mewdy Blue has always been one to get car sick so putting food in his belly before a ride........well, you can see what I mean.

However, he made it home just fine. All the time in the clinic he was bright and alert entertaining all the staff and even walked out on his own on leash. At home, though, he basically collapsed. He found his hiding place in the hottest part of the house and fell asleep. Every couple of hours I offered him some more food that he only nibbled. Then at 6 pm he "expelled" it all again. This time in the living room, on the wood floor, in front of the dog. But at least I was there to see it even if I couldn't get to it before it disappeared into the white fluff-ball that is Blizzard.

By this time Mewdy Blue was so depressed/lethargic that he was limp when I picked him up. He couldn't even walk across the living room without stopping to rest halfway. So I rushed him back to Iowa State. This time he saw a different clinician. After a thorough exam and a lot of paperwork (all a repeat of just this morning!) we agreed that they would give him an anti-emetic (something to keep him from vomiting) and I'd take him home again.

Now at home, he's gotten his subcutaneous fluids, antacid, something to calm his stomach, something to stimulate his appetite and he's back upstairs in his hot spot. I've offered him food several times but all he would eat for me is a little baby food. And he's extremely weak and depressed again.

I think, and it is all just conjecture on my part, that perhaps he has cholangiohepatitis and receiving his vaccination 1 1/2 weeks ago set off his immune system. He then stopped eating setting of his liver and this whole cycle of problems. Then of course I let him eat too much at once when he did want to eat causing him to vomit. And they did the same thing today in the clinic so he vomited again.

Please pray with me that I am right, at least partially, and that this anti-emetic will settle his stomach enough for him to recover and get back to his normal appetite. At least for tonight I doubt I'll be getting any sleep!

Hopefully my next post will be lighter. I'm working on one about Rabbit Hopping. I promised to write about this way back in May so it's about time I got it on the blogosphere. Stay tuned - I have pictures and video!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mewdy Blue's Story - a video

I should have posted this a long time ago but I think I can still brag about it a little. Back in April the Cat Behavior Associates held a contest for the best video describing your cat’s behavior problem and how you solved it. Being the proud mama I immediately thought of Mewdy Blue.

When he was a kitten he excelled at slipping out the front door! It scared me to death because my front door leads to a sidewalk that leads to the street. The first couple of times he did it he didn’t get far. But one day he made it all the way to the middle of the street where he simply sat down. I knew I had to do something and quick.

This video describes my attempts to leash train him as well as my discovery of his ability to learn tricks very easily. Eventually Mewdy Blue became a champion agility cat. During the 2006/2007 show season he became the very first cat to win the award as Best Agility Cat in the CFA Midwest Region.

I’ve never produced a video before so I had a lot of fun using Apple’s iMovie to create what I think was a pretty good first attempt. We didn’t win but my video was one of the runners-up. You can see the video (and the other two winners) here:

I’ve also uploaded my video to YouTube so you can always see it there if you are so inclined J Hope you enjoy it.

Have you ever created a video of your pet? Have you ever shared a video on YouTube? I spend way too much time on YouTube watching funny, cute or touching cat videos. How about you?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Iowa Pet Alert

Here’s what things have been like around Iowa this spring:

But now we’re getting a taste of sunshine! Unfortunately that means our pets are also getting a taste of sunshine by slipping outside unattended.

This year I’ve been working with a group of pet lovers in central Iowa to help reunite missing pets with their people. The group operates under the umbrella of The Pet Project Midwest but the lost and found branch of this tree is the Iowa Pet Alert. Through the IPA website people who have lost pets of any kind can post an ad for free and people who have found a pet can post an ad for free.

The internet is a magical thing. It can unite us from all over the world. But here at the Iowa Pet Alert we are bringing Iowa people together with their pets.

Lady Butterfly safe at home
When I first found the IPA website I started comparing lost ads with found ads and searching craigslist ads for similar descriptions. It was extremely rewarding to help someone find their pet reaching out from the comfort of my own home. I expanded my efforts by contacting rescue groups as well for those animals that weren’t claimed by their owners.

A dog that was "found" twice!
But then I decided I should become more involved. When the IPA decided to start a newsletter I volunteered to write “some” of the articles. Little did I know that I had volunteered to become the editor! I love my new role and truly believe in our mission.

Have a look at the website here. Do you know of any similar programs in your area? Have you ever done anything to help reunite lost pets with their owners? I’d love to hear your stories.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sniffing for Cancer

Another way to “Be Kind to Animals” is to give them a job, make them feel wanted, useful, and yes loved. Here’s a program at the University of Pennsylvania where they’re training dogs to sniff out ovarian cancer:

For years we’ve been reading anecdotal reports of dogs who have found tumors on their owners or the people around them. Now someone is finally doing something official with this ability.

Dogs are famously sniffing out drugs, explosives and contraband every day now so we know how sensitive their noses are. Researchers have also found that cancers put out a unique odor but don’t worry, people can’t smell it. Isn’t it only natural that dogs should also be employed to sniff out life-threatening diseases?

So the next time you visit a doctor don’t be alarmed if you see a dog sitting sentry at the doorway. It might be there for your health.

Be Kind to Animals Week

This week is National Be Kind to Animals Week so I thought I’d share some ways for you to participate. In this article people are helping members of the military by fostering their pets when they are called to action.

It has to be a heart-wrenching decision to make when a military member must either find a new home for the pet or turn it into a shelter when they are activated. I’m sure it’s hard enough to ponder the situation they themselves will be exposed to let alone the fate of their pets. Let’s help take some of the worry out of their lives by offering to foster their pets. That way they’ll still have their much-loved pet to come home to.

If you decide to foster pets for a military soldier be sure of the following things:

  •  Get an agreement outlining who will be footing the bills for the pet and giving you permission to treat the animal if necessary during their deployment
  •  Make sure you have the health records of the pet
  •  Understand what the owner’s wishes are in case of health problems
  •  Ask the owner about the pet’s preferences in food, toys, exercise and any idiosyncrasies
  •  Unfortunately you will also need to have an agreement about the disposition of the pet if the soldier doesn’t return (e.g. a friend or family member who might want the pet or a contract that gives you ownership of the pet) 

Fostering animals is always a rewarding pursuit. Helping our military is just one way to foster. Check with the military branches near you to see if they have any soldiers in need. It is possible that a group may already exist in your area and they would know of such a group.