Nano the cat – ?-August 4, 2023

The e-mail wasn’t unexpected because Lavinia kept me up to date on Nano’s condition. Still, the sad news from Oregon came today: Lavinia and Rick Ross report Nano’s fight for life reached a point where nothing could assure he had any quality of life. He was euthanized today after medical care no longer helped his failing body.

Lavinia wrote this last note:

Hi Doug,

Rick wrote a guest story for Katzenworld back in May based on his own recollections of Nano.  He doesn’t have the story quite right regarding the time Nano escaped early on and I was up most of the night trying to catch him and get him back inside, which I did about 4:30 AM that day.  Nano bit me hard, not scratched me.  I had to go to work that day, the hand swelled up and I took myself to the ER that evening.  I had to produce a valid rabies certificate, and I was on antibiotics for a good week if not 10 days. You can go ahead and use his story, though.  Close enough.  I’ve attached one of my favorite photos of him, taken through the window from outside the house.  Makes him look other-worldly, which he is indeed now…. Also another photo of Nano from 2015.  A bit on the dark side though as I was trying not to use the flash.

He had a good quality of life until late June, when he started going off his feed.  I took him in to the vet on June 30th for blood work and urinalysis.  The vet and I looked back over the last few years of testing, and it seemed like his kidneys finally hit a tipping point.  Prescription food, supplements and finally subcutaneous fluids were tried.  Too far gone, and his quality of life was not so good the last two weeks.  It was time to let him go, peacefully and quickly.  He is lying in state right now, and I will take care of burying him this evening.

Thanks again, Doug.  I know you understand what we have been through.


It’s never easy to say goodbye to a family pet. They are family. The Rosses took this kitty into their home when he showed up, then he entered their hearts. Hugs and condolences to Lavinia and Rick. Their memorial gardens gained one more soul this evening. 

The Cats of Salmon Brook Farm | Salmon Brook Farms (

01May22: Doggies enjoy the company!

Tootsie greets me at the door. She’s all excited and ready to play, especially that doggy favorite, tug-a-war or maybe just get a nice head rub.

Marco greets me at the door, too! He’s happy to get a nice back “scritch” and a “Nice doggy!” (Which he is!)

This is lots of excitement for my friend Donna’s doggies! All these people and food too!

After all the excitement, Tootsie settles down in her favorite place, Donna’s lap. Marco may join later. Somehow, Donna manages both at the same time if they insist.

All this time, Andy’s home alone. Who knows what he’s doing now!


Last Friday, a bunch of my Class of ’66 classmates and I got together for the monthly luncheon. Since it was hosted by Donna, I was delighted to get together with a couple of my favorite dogs, too! Tootsie likes to play and get lots of attention. Marco is equally thrilled to see company. Both are really sweet-natured doggies. I enjoy their company as much as that of my old human friends.

As I say to Tootsie and Marco, “Meow meow! Oops! Woof woof!

Hee! Hee! I get it wrong every time.

Blynken of Salmon Brook Farms…

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, of Salmon Brook Farms. 

Our friend Lavinia Ross of Salmon Brook Farms notified me today that Blynken was unable to survive medical issues and had to be euthanized to end her pain. She would have been nine years old this year in August.

Lavinia wrote earlier, “Blynken was diagnosed with left side heart failure, and has had a body x-ray, cardiac ultrasound and EKG. Her lungs were filled with fluid, making breathing difficult, and she has been stabilized with Lasix, a diuretic and is in an Oxygen cage. Much of the fluid has drained away from her lungs now, and she will be kept overnight.”

Sadly, Blynken’s condition deteriorated. Lavinia wrote, “The vet called this morning and told me to come right away.  She was not able to live outside the oxygen cage, in spite of medication.  The clot moved this morning, and lodged in her front leg, and she was screaming in pain.  They sedated her and kept her on life support until I got there, and was able to see her off.  She was peacefully put to sleep.”

Hugs and condolences to the Ross family on Blynken’s passing.

Blynken, on the left, and Nod

Lavinia shared other photos of Blynken and her siblings:

Lavinia wrote, “Here is another one of her as a kitten pushing her brother’s head down so she can be in the picture.  And here is a photo of her and her siblings as tiny kittens.  Blynken is on the left.  The Three Sisters all had grey stripes on their heads, which turned white with time.”

RIP Blynken


05Oct21: too tired to finish watching…

Barely into the movie, Andy conked out.

Even during the violent scenes, he slept and slept!

He woke briefly during the Jack Teagarden solo. This was a treat for Doug, however, since he was a boy trombonist and big fan of the great JT!

The Teagarden band featured a clarinet solo, another treat as Andy’s Auntie Kathy was and currently is a clarinetist…

…so Andy, at least woke up and moved over to the ottoman not to watch that!

He missed out on some cool Jazz and a pretty good movie, but at least he got a good night’s sleep.



26Jul21: a bit of this and that…

My old 69th Signal Company (Photo) pal, Dan, “messaged” this photo to me a few days ago. That’s Dan on the far left and me on the far right. Half a century after the fact, the setting seems familiar yet not familiar. It’s probably on the sound stage where we still and motion picture photographers spent our time when not on assignments.

Andy love, love, loves it when I put a straw inside a magazine. He tries to take it out, play activity that seriously amuses my kitty boy! Cheap fun. He’ll play longer with a straw than just about anything.

22Sep20: lapboard war…

Andy’s upset I’m using the lapboard while typing on my laptop. He wants to lounge.

So he takes up a space behind my laptop. He knows I’ll pick him up off the keyboard, so that’s not worth the trial. Here, he gets what he wants!


Post 1942: sad news from Salmon Brook Farms…

I look forward to Lavinia and Rick Ross’s monthly update at: It is a collection of photos and text documenting their progress in their vineyard, flower gardens (some of which are memorial flower beds), and more. One section is a report from their many cats, among them Willow, whose story I will turn over to Lavinia:

As you know, our old calico Willow has been declining the last few years with failing kidneys, and has been on subcutaneous fluids for the last few weeks.  Her hind legs have slowly been getting weaker, allowing me to do more for her, but also signalling that the end was nearing.  

Willow stopped eating last night, and the feeding stimulant from the vet did not work today.  She was pooping in her bed this morning, and lying in it, her hind legs seeming to be weaker than the night before.  I cleaned her up in the sink, and she did not fight that so hard today.  

It turned out Willow had come from a nearby property where the people had recently moved in.  When I found out where she belonged, I attempted to give her back, but the man didn’t want her anymore.  He had fallen and broken his leg, had no insurance and no job.  She had escaped the first night and they had presumed her dead.  So I took her in, fixed her up, and she became companion to Rick’s mother. 

Given her extreme age and kidney problems she has been battling for years, the decision was made to let her go and join the Greater Universe as its newest citizen.  Rick and I took her in to River’s Edge in late afternoon, and Dr. Hayes assisted her in peacefully passing on while we were there with her.  Willow went quickly, and without pain.  She was approximately 22 years old by all reckonings.

In Willow’s past life with the neighbor, she had been his sister’s cat.  The sister died, then his mother took the cat in.  His mother died, and he got the cat along with his father.  He didn’t want the cat as she had a history of peeing everywhere, but my guess is that she was probably sick with urinary problems all those years.  His father didn’t want to put her down, and they brought the cat to Oregon with them.  We’ve battled her urinary problems all this time. 

Her vet here in town, who retired two years ago, thought she had a condition where the neck of the bladder did not close completely.  That would explain the urine leakage in her sleep.  This also make an easy route for infection, and so the cycles of trips to the vet continued.  I moved her care to River’s Edge after the Doc retired, as they do emergency care, and Dr. Hayes is an excellent cat vet. 

The times between trips to the vet started growing shorter and shorter, and finally ended up with the subcutaneous fluids at home as the urine was pouring out of her and she was dehydrated.  I was doing her towel laundry 2 or 3 times a day, and changing her bedding during the night when I woke up.  

Due to the winter darkness and rain, Willow will be buried tomorrow morning at sunrise out by the persimmon tree, facing east towards the hazelnut grove.  I think she would have liked the view from there.  I like to think of her feisty spirit hunting in the tall grass, observing the birds, deer, all the various creatures that have come through the farm at one time or another.  Rest in peace, little one.

Old Willow just ran out of road finally, and was not enjoying life.  She will be missed.

Lavinia wrote this postlude to Willow’s journey:

I finished her gravesite this afternoon, putting some decorative stonework on it and planting daffodils.  The weather was partly cloudy with some strong sun this afternoon.  The old calico is enjoying a good run over the Rainbow Bridge.

Longer than my usual post, but I want to share how Lavinia and Rick cared for their beloved Willow though many people would have turned her away years ago because of her age and health issues.

Because they didn’t put her in a shelter, Willow spent the last years of her life enjoying the pleasures of Salmon Brook Farms and the love and care of Lavinia and Rick Ross. I join them in mourning Willow.

Post 1387: old buddies write…


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….


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! 

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.