Post 1387: old buddies write…

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What a wonderful post card! Ms. Zulu (on the left) and Benji are well known to Andy and Dougy because the four did interviews with each other, and found that dogs are nice and so are cats! They became friends and are now old buddies. (Check out these interview links if you’ve not read them.) If only people came together the way these four did….

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It did indeed put a smile on our mugs! Don’t the “woofies” look like they are enjoying a great time in the Pine Cone Forest? You know they are! 

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Post 1299: On the passing of my sister’s cat, Sox…

I read the sad news this morning. My sister, Kathy, had to make a decision about her tuxedo kitty, Sox, yesterday. He had a cancerous tumor on a front paw. She wrote:

I did have to have Sox euthanized today.  It was so hard to do, but Kitty Boy was miserable and so sad to watch.  It took me until 3:30 this afternoon to finally let him go.  

The Dr. said he most likely had a stroke, perhaps caused by the cancer moving to his brain.  It’s going to take a long time to get over his death.  Molly was so sweet.
She laid on top of me and put her paw and head on my hand.  She knew something wasn’t right.
Sox is missing in Seattle.

Sox in his prime.

My sister “inherited” Sox as a kitten when her grandchildren got him from one of my sister’s neighbors, but were unable to keep him. Like me, she wasn’t a cat person till she got one. We always had dogs when we were little, then no pets till we were older and closer to retirement or retired. Sox was her first kitty.

Sox was an only kitty most of his life. Then my sister had to move. The first day she moved into her new home, she let Sox out to do kitty business, as was their habit from their old home.

That was the last time she saw him for 10 months, a story that I documented here as encouragement to others who lost their kitties. My sister never gave up, and she finally located poor Sox in a shelter!

Molly Moon looks like a sweetheart to me, and my sister says she is a sweet-dispositioned kitty, too.

When Sox disappeared, my sister eventually adopted Molly Moon, who was a bit older than Sox, but is a tuxedo kitty, too.

When Sox returned home, he no longer was the only kitty, and it made adjustment necessary. Molly and Sox eventually became friends and shared my sister without hassles. (Molly, of course, was the top kitty in the home since Sox hadn’t been home to defend his “title” during his absence.)

My sister told me about the tumor and what she had to deal with some time ago, but one hopes against hope for a happy outcome. I didn’t mention it here though anyone who’s followed this blog for any length of time knows the story of Sox and how he was lost then came home.

That story was the “happily ever after” part. Today’s news is the blunt, sad reality. Anyone with kitties, dogs, any creature in their lives knows the joys and laughter they bring, yet always has that other reality at the back of their thoughts: The joy inevitably is followed by the sad reality that those beloved pets are mortal.

Poor Sox. I’ve shed tears for you today. Kathy, I know that you did what was best for Sox, no matter how sad and difficult the task was for you. Hugs and love, sis.

RIP, Sox the tuxedo kitty. Thank you for the joy you brought into my sister’s life.

 

 

  

 

Post 1285: snow fun…(‘s’no fun)

The day started out fine. The kitty boys begged me to play videos for cats, and they were exceptionally good kitties while the videos played.

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Good fun for the kitty boys! And they were nice to each other while watching the videos.

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Yeah. What I saw at 10 o’clock. That’s my black VW Sportwagen buried in a drift!

The day before I’d called the Good Samaritan office to let them know I needed to have the snow cleared so I could get to dialysis Wednesday, and that it needed to be done by at least 10 o’clock so I had adequate time to make the 11 o’clock start time. That, I figured, would give me extra time in case of getting stuck or other snow related issues.

By 10 o’clock Wednesday, no one had come to clear the snow. I WAS PISSED!

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My neighbor, Gary, offered to help dig me out. His wife, Donna, told him he had no business exerting himself that way. I protested, too, telling him I expected Good Samaritan to do the job. NOW!

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Gary pretended to have chest pains. Donna and I were not amused!

Here’s what the passenger side looked like. The snow was up to just about halfway to my knees.

Note that I park in a handicap parking spot. The Good Samaritan runs the apartment complex I live in, and they are responsible for clearing snow. Theoretically, they will clear snow first for people like me who have medical issues and have to make appointments. Dialysis isn’t optional!

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Here’s the driver’s side of my car. The drift was crotch high! I didn’t know if I could even get into the car because the snow came up to a few inches above the bottom of the door.

I managed to get in the car. Gary walked down to the office to remind them in person I had asked for snow to be cleared the day before. Then a couple of maintenance people came over to help clear some of the snow around and behind my car off, but the main snow removal had to wait till the snow plow arrived from Hemingford, 19 miles away!

I tried to back up and got stuck. Gary and the maintenance people got me unstuck, and I drove down the lane and turned west on East 6th Street.

At the intersection of East 6th and Flack Avenue, I saw a pickup truck and a Bobcat blocking the intersection. There was a police car with lights flashing. It looked like an accident, but it might have been people clearing the snow at the intersection. Regardless, I couldn’t pass through the intersection to head north to the hospital. (Yes, I drew on my US Army vocabulary again to express feelings about that!)

I backed up to a turn off to the Good Samaritan parking lot, and headed east to what looked like the best way to get to 4th Street, which would take me to Flack, then the long way around to the hospital by 3rd Street, then Box Butte Avenue, two snow lanes that were cleared. Boyd Street looked impassable, so I turned down Lane 4, which had a path down it, thanks to a pickup.

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Here I am on Lane 4…

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…STUCK!

Yes, I was thoroughly wet, mad, and running out of time to get to dialysis.img_20170125_101132

The final trial: I waded through drifts up to my knees to get back to Lane 2 to try to run down a ride and to leave my keys with Gary and Donna so Gary could park my car in my spot after the snow was cleared and the car was unstuck.

I got thoroughly wet below the knees, and barely had the strength to make the full trek. Leroy, one of the maintenance guys, had to come to me for the final stretch to knock down a path for me to walk. I still barely made it. Yes, I cussed like a Sergeant Major all the way. Cleared my lungs, I tell you!

Donna called to find a ride for me. She eventually got the Handibus lined up, and I got to dialysis just slightly later than usual. (The Handibus is a city-run service used mostly by non-drivers, elderly, or handicapped people. You can get door-to-door service at a dollar per ride.)

Did I mention Gary and Donna are the neighbors who took care of the kitty boys for the two months and 10 days I was hospitalized, then in rehabilitation in 2016? Very good people! They helped turn my disastrous snow crisis into a successful trip to the hospital for dialysis. 

Post 1168: Andy rips it up…

I occasionally forget to pay attention to whether my printer is set up to catch papers coming out. Bad mistake! Andy pays attention every time and if the printer’s pooping pages onto the floor…Andy’s right there! 

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Andy guards the pile he’s already begun to trash, chew, and pose on…!

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“Am I being watched?”  Andy knows he’s being a bad boy, I think.

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Woo hoo! Andy gets to it! He “sorts” the pages.

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> rip! rip! rip! <

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Andy is in a frenzy!

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“What?! What? What’s wrong?” Andy  protests his innocence.

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Yeah. Innocent in a pile of shredded paper! 

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Heck! I can print it out again! Can’t… Resist… That… Kitty… Face….!

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Oh dear! Once again I succumb to the wiles of my kitties. They can do no wrong, no matter how naughty. It’s the eyes, I tell you. The EYES!!!

Post 1077: Maggie on the wall. Woof!

I’ve always been an animal lover. There are none (except spiders and snakes) I don’t like. Though you know I am a cat person, you may not know that I like dogs, too! More importantly, dogs also like me. Mostly!

One of my doggy friends is Maggie, doggy companion of Liz, Jim, and Jamie. A rescue dog, she’s had a tough time of it, learning to trust people, learning to behave, expressing herself in ways that earn her a nice pat on the head and a reassuring “Good dog!” She is a good dog! And a beauty.

I was pleased to get a signed photo of Maggie of maggie0019 when I was ill and then in therapy. It cheered me and I couldn’t wait to get home to hang it where i could see it easily and often.

Right next to Andy and Dougy as kittens, you'll find a signed photo from my dog buddy Maggie! The drawn cat was a gift from Kaelia, now 19 years old (!), who was a little kid when she drew that kitty and gave it to me to cheer me up when I was recovering from my initial flare of Wegener's granulomatosis. I

Right next to Andy and Dougy as kittens, you’ll find a signed photo from my dog buddy Maggie! The drawn cat was a gift from Kaelia, now 19 years old (!), who was a little kid of  seven when she drew that kitty and gave it to me to cheer me up when I was recovering from my initial flare of Wegener’s granulomatosis. It doesn’t show that well in the photo, but her teacher wrote this critique of the drawing in the upper right hand corner: “Wow!”

I thanked Liz (Maggie’s “human Mom”) at the time. She also sent me a white blanket (fuzzy like a Persian kitty and very comfortable) that I use at dialysis. Chris of contrafactual sent me a tasty basket of citrus from his personal citrus tree at the same time. I’d just learned I was supposed to restrict certain foods in my diet. No more bingeing on citrus for me, so I shared the majority of the fruit with staff at the care center where I was at the time. It was much appreciated! Liz and Chris definitely were a positive factor in my recovery.

Later, Pam, Chris’ wife made and he sent a beautiful afghan that showed up in the corner of a recent Dougy photo.

A few tense moments to go before the game gets wild!

There’s Pam’s beautiful (and very useful!) afghan on the left, hanging on the recliner.

I feel blessed with these friends!

 

Post 1042: batcat…

Persian kitties have strange faces. Straight on, they look owlish. From the side, you’d think you’d seen a bat.

Batcat!

Batcat!

Post 1011: Jeez! Not something else wrong!

Now I’m having problems transferring photos from my camera memory card to the computer. I swear…! (And I have!) Nothing worked right once I got back, and the string of irritations continues. It’s a good thing I’m basically a happy person or I’d be crushed by circumstances by now. I will try to find an alternative way to do this task.

In the meantime, I guess it’s retro Andy and Dougy photos. A large part of the people following this blog haven’t seen most of the early photos, so I’ll put up a few of those till I work out this problem. (It seems to be the port on the computer since I can view the photos using the camera.)dougy outside

Dougy would like to be an outside cat. So many scents! So much to see and do! Unfortunately for him (and Andy), I don’t believe in letting pets roam.

In my neighborhood, there is relatively little traffic and it is moving between 10 and 15 mph. You only have to go a couple lanes over to the West to get to a major street with lots of fast traffic, however, and a bit farther East brings you to another fast traffic street. South a couple blocks, and you have a highway. Not good for cats or dogs.  andy on washer 120615 a

Andy used to like to sleep on the washer. Since I moved to the big bedroom, he prefers to sleep close by on an end table closest to where I am. That way he can feel safe and get an occasional scritching if I wake up in the night and see him there. He especially likes it when I scratch his neck and chin. Those cute little ears need scritching, too, and that really gets him purring!

Dougy comes around at night, too. He just stays long enough to get some loving and to knead my arm through the bedding. He’s purring the whole time from when he jumps on the bed till when he hops off. I don’t know for sure where he’s sleeping at night now but I suspect it is his old favorite, the top carrier of the two stacked by the recliner. It’s high, it’s protected, and it seems to be a perfect cat cave!

Post 1003: things are a little bit normal now…

The boys returned to most of the old routines much more quickly than I expected. One they haven’t returned to is the 1:30 AM feeding schedule. Of course, I’m not encouraging them to. LOL!

I bought groceries this morning. The store has a new electric cart with shopping basket that I used. It made the task doable and fast. I was a bit concerned about all the walking I’d have to do since the store was enlarged recently. I still have to carry the groceries in once I get home, though that was easy enough.

Along with buying groceries, I made my first meals at home since getting back. That was one of the concerns of the people doing my therapy. I’ve made my own meals for years, so this was a snap. I just was a bit more careful about ingredients and ate my potassium blocker before eating, like a good boy. (In this case, the blocker is simple Tums, which I take in fruit flavors. Why not?!)

Andy and Dougy aren’t eating their wet food like I like them to. I put a supplement in the wet food that controls “eye snot”, that goopy eye thing Persians often have. Dougy gets it worst, though he cleans most of it off without help. (It isn’t as grim as hairballs, but it gets close sometimes….!)

I still haven’t resolved my PC issues or how to post new photos. I feel an expensive month coming up.

 

Post 1000: Oh dear! I violated Dougy’s space!

I just committed a cardinal sin. I set my laptop down on Dougy’s ottoman!

Out of nowhere, Dougy came running. He hopped up on the ottoman and gave a rigorous scratching to the battle scared fabric.

I got your message, Buster: “The ottoman is off limits to everyone but Dougy!!!”

Hard to believe this sweet little Persian guy, usually so full of good will, this pussycat can be so aggressively, obsessively possessive of the ottoman, yet that’s the way it is on Lane 2. Dougy’s ottoman. No trespassing.

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For those who don’t follow me elsewhere, I’ve had problems getting on the Internet on my PC this first day back from hospitalization and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, my laptop is of the stupid variety. It isn’t set up to handle graphics chores.

(“Aw…!He just told us there’d be no new Dougy and Andy photos till he works out the technical glitch in his PC!”)

I did want to resume my blog as soon as possible on getting back, however, because I’ve a lot to tell you. First and foremost, as a weggie (a person diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, not an underwear waistband puller..!), diagnosed in 2003, I know the disease is for a lifetime: There is no cure.

I also know, as a weggie,that it can go into remission as it did in my case in 2005. Some weggies never know a time when their case is in remission. I was lucky and had several years that were active Wegener’s free.

But! But, it always is there, lurking behind the symptoms of other diseases. That is what the doctors at University Hospital (Denver) feel happened to me.

A couple months leading up to the week I became breathless and weak, I had a nondescript malaise, let’s call it, nothing alarming, just “there”. I didn’t feel really bad, yet I wasn’t 100% OK either.

I wasn’t alarmed.

Perhaps I should have  been. The doctors feel an undiagnosed Wegener’s flare wiped out what kidney function the December 2003-May 2005 didn’t manage to do. Now, I will need dialysis three times a week. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just time-consuming: Four hours at a shot! It can be more or less that, depending on catheter function or need.

I tell you this because it is true. I don’t mean to depress you. I mean, this happened to me yet I am basically a happy, positive person. Let me tell you a little story about how I handled the news I was going to have to go on dialysis.

While at the University Hospital (Denver), several teams of doctors visited me each day, including one who’d been among the doctors who visited me daily in 2004. I was known to be a weggie, so the first thing they had to determine was whether my condition was Wegener’s granulomatosis or not.

No evidence of active Wegener’s showed up, but the signs were my kidneys had failed. (Of course, it was no secret to me because I couldn’t urinate!)

One by one, the doctors and interns, in pairs, came to report their findings to me. Each told a bit more of the story, but I knew where it was leading.

Finally, the nephrologist came by. The young doctor with him was quiet. The older doctor seemed uncomfortable or hesitant to give me the bad news.

“I have good news and I have bad news,” he said finally. The good news was it wasn’t Wegener’s I had, and you already know – just as I did! – what the bad news was: I had end term kidney disease. I would require dialysis in practical terms, many life changes in food eaten, and so on.

I sat on my bed in my hospital gown listening to what the doctor said. When he was finished (and clearly relieved I seemed to be taking it well), I said, “Doctor, you don’t have to worry about scaring the pants off of me because [comedic pause] I’m not wearing any.”

I got them both to laugh!

I tell you that story because I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I’ve had worse news from doctors after all, like when I learned I was a weggie.

My doctor came to my room and explained that my symptoms suggested one of three possibilities. He ticked off why two seemed less likely than the third, then said I most likely had Wegener’s granulomatosis and that I would be dead within two years.

On the third anniversary of the prediction of a two year life expectancy, I reminded my doctor of what he told me. “That sounds like the sort of thing I’d say,” he said. He actually was a very good doctor, one I still admire and respect immensely.

But when it comes to deadeye predictions, there are many factors that affect the outcome: Efficacy of treatment; patient’s attitude; the course of the disease and what stage it was caught at; faith; who knows?

The short of it (said he ironically), I will thrive and survive. I’m pigheaded that way.

Post 990: Andy doesn’t watch kitty videos…not when there are birdies outside!

"Hey, Andy! There's a kitty on the screen...!"

“Hey, Andy! There’s a kitty on the screen…!”

"Npt now. There's a birdie outside that I'm watching."

“Not now. There’s a birdie outside I’m watching.”