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Avocado Love

On this day, I learned that, in addition to bread and tortillas, avocados are no longer safe on my kitchen counter.

Why?

Because my insane cats have decided they might be tasty … and fun.

I returned home from a quick trip to the grocery store and found the one below on the floor of my bedroom. And there were clearly incriminating teeth marks all over it.

While I would normally blame Zoey for this, I think that Colby is actually the culprit this time.

Why?

Because I brought home two additional avocados, and when I was unloading them on the counter, she came running up and immediately wanted to start batting them around.

Given that they are best friends, it probably shouldn’t surprise me.

Avocado 01

I Wish …

I had more time. Instead, I have a lot of flowers. Flowers that have bloomed far too early. But at least I have the chance to share them here …

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Bunny Boy

Yes, it has been FAR too long since I last posted. Life has been a little insane around my little world, so I have been more than a little distracted. Still, my beasties have kept me entertained, and I will be posting many pictures of the crew over the next few weeks.

In honor of the upcoming Easter holiday, I thought I’d start with the latest Cooper-humiliation photo: Bunny Boy.

Cooper Bunny 01

I think he’d plot my demise if it weren’t for the fact that I feed him every day. :)

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog (sorry I haven’t posted much lately … lots going on, but more to come in the New Year!).

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Tale of the Eye

It seems that around my house when it rains, it pours … at least when it comes to animal issues and vet visits.

This past week — after already dealing with yet another Cooper-stomach episode — I found myself dealing with a squint-eyed cat.

I have come across the issue from time to time with Lilly, who has a tendency to develop allergies in her eyes. But this squint-eyed cat issue erupted in Zoey, the little girl who is already prone to asthma issues. I tried to watch her for a bit, hoping it would clear up by itself, before realizing that the area around her eye was starting to swell.

Of course, the realization came on a Saturday.

When her regular vet is open only for minor vet visits and couldn’t take the little girl.

So, I bundled her up and took her to the closest open vet clinic.

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Needless to say, she wasn’t happy about it. She had to be pulled out of the crate, turned her back to me and leveled a killer glare at the vet tech — all unusual acts for the little girl and clear signs she didn’t feel well.

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After a thorough exam and a couple of tests, the vet prescribed antibiotic drops and sent us home.

At first, I thought they were working. The swelling around her eye seemed to subside and she grew a bit more active. Of course, on the flip side, she suddenly became very cranky and decided that she needed to attack Izzy for no clear reason.

As each day passed, I contemplated whether I should bring her back to the vet.

Thankfully, her regular vet is wonderful and called to check in on her, even though she hadn’t seen the little girl over the weekend. After a little talk, we agreed that I would call back in a couple of days if she was still squinting at all.

Within a couple of days, I bundled her up in the carrier and had her headed back to the vet. While the swelling wasn’t quite as pronounced, her body was clearly still off. My sweet little girl was irritable and angry and didn’t seem interested in any of her normal antics. Even at the vet’s office, which she normally likes to explore with wild abandon, she could barely muster a mild interest in the shelves on the wall before settling in the sink and drifting off to sleep while we waited for the vet to arrive.

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What the vet discovered was that while the eye had looked better for a short period, a deeper infection was clearly setting in. She was running a temperature and the swelling around her eye was even more pronounced.

So, after a second thorough examine in a week, we traipsed home with two additional prescriptions and instructions to keep administering the antibiotic eye drops. Coupled with the two prescriptions she already has for asthma, she is now on more medicine than Cooper is. At least for a short time.

The good news is that the medicine seems to be working. After only three doses of the oral antibiotic she received, she has already returned to her normal, happy self and she is squinting a whole lot less.

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Here’s to a fully recovered Zoey.

November Ice

I will admit it. When it comes to dealing with weather, I am a wimp.

Or, rather, I am just very, very stuck in my ways.

A native Oregonian, I am used to the ebb and flow of the seasons. In fact, I have come to celebrate them: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

But 2014 has decided to send us — as well as most of the rest of the country — for a loop. Last night, we were buried under ice that blanketed us all day. We don’t normally get this much ice in November. This time of year is generally dedicated to planting bulbs in mild temperatures and cleaning gardens for the coming winter, when the weather really turns nasty.

We aren’t used to such bad weather so early.

Still, there is beauty to find among the ice, which offers a good distraction from the frigid cold.

Ice 01

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Cold Winter’s Night: Protecting Those Who Can’t Protect Themselves

Dearest neighbors:

I try to understand others. I really do. I want to see everyone’s side of a story. Despite this, I have to say you suck.

Why?

Well, let me start by asking, “On this evening, when we are supposed to have our first storm of the winter and the wind chill has already dropped the temperature below freezing, do you know where your cat is?”

No? Well, I do. She’s on my front porch — as always. Since the first cold night, she has been on my front porch, under the protective cover of its roof and tucked within the little cat house I bought to give her a safe place to sleep. It’s the same place that I keep insulated against the cold with blankets and towels from my own house, so that a cat I don’t even own can stay warm during the coldest nights.

In the past 24 hours, when it has been so cold that the water I keep on the front porch for her has frozen over, she has only left the little house when I have stepped outside to make sure she is OK. Tonight, when I opened the door, she cried as she emerged from the house, clearly understanding that the freezing temperature was going to drop even lower. I could see she was torn because she wanted in my house, but she also knew that I have cats of my own who wouldn’t welcome her.

And where are you? You haven’t bothered to come look for her. You haven’t even taken the simple step of opening your front door and calling for her. How do I know this? Because my house is literally a stone’s throw from yours. I also know if I go to you and ask you about your cat, you will make a lame attempt to come get her and then decide that it’s all too much effort. And how do I know this? Because we have been down this road before the last two winters.

So tonight, before I go to bed, I will scoop up your cat from my front porch and carry her into my laundry room, which has already been set up for her to sleep in for the night. As I do, I will be cursing you the entire time. I know I shouldn’t — after all, it’s not very charitable or understanding of me — but I won’t be able to help myself. You accepted this little animal into your life, pledging to house it and protect it, and you don’t care about her.

I do.

I care.

I can’t help it.

I believe that how you protect those who can’t protect themselves — children, pets, the dead — defines your humanity. If you can’t accept the responsibility, don’t accept the pet.

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My neighbor’s cat, who also kept me company Halloween evening, when her family was too busy having a party to wonder where she was.

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