She’s Chasing Butterflies

This week ended on a sad note for me.

Penny was my buddy, my little side kick.  She went to work with me when I was working in an office.  She slept on my bed next to my leg, and every morning watched patiently for my eyes to open, then came running up and licked my face.  Most of the time it seemed I was tripping over her as she was always underfoot, wanting to be as close as possible to me.  I’d like to think it was just pure love but my daughter once said, “don’t kid yourself, she’d trade you for treats in a heartbeat”.  No doubt, as she was the most food motivated little thing we’d ever seen.

As long as treats were involved she learned very quickly to sit still while her face was trimmed, various tricks like playing dead, rolling over, dancing etc.  She was always on the hunt for food.  We’re pretty sure if a 25 pound bag of food was sliced open on the floor, she’d have eaten until her little sides split open.

Winter time, while hard on her as she had hair rather than fur so she got cold easily, was fun for Penny.  She would run into the snow just like a puppy or child, throwing it with her nose.

Penny was bought for my daughter when she turned 13.  She had to put her rabbits to sleep because they were very sick, so that same night my sister-in-law, after helping them across the rainbow bridge, went with my husband and daughter to check out some pure bred Yorkie puppies.  My daughter found Penny and brought her home.  Over the years as we had vet appointments, my sister-in-law would almost always be the vet tech working, and of course she was at family functions so she was involved in our dog’s life from day one.  My daughter went on to college and became a vet tech herself, very much a lover of all critters and with a gift of being able to calm them quickly and gain their trust.

My daughter had to give up her precious bundle 18 months ago, when she moved in with her then fiance (now amazing husband).  I took over and Penny has been my constant side kick ever since.  When I divorced 4 years ago I joked about wanting visitation with the dog, I loved her very much.  While out of work nearly 2 years she was my shadow back then too.  Before coming to live with me I had kept her while my daughter was on vacation, and she brought her over every time she came over to visit.

Penny had so many nicknames: numb-nut (the ex’s choice), Muffikins, Pupperdo, Baby Girl Dog, Pennerface….it’s a lengthy list.  If the number of nicknames indicates love, she was smothered in it.

At the beginning of the week I noticed some changes in my old girl.  She appeared to be having trouble sometimes knowing where you were when talking to her.  And her legs would go out from under her suddenly.  As the week went on it appeared she was having little seizures, her body would tremble and she’d fall over or crash into a wall.  And she was having more episodes of strange stuff like walking into walls and spacing out on us.  Thursday we went to the vet, me and my daughter along with Muffikins.  The vet agreed it seemed to be seizures so they ordered blood work and we talked about medications that would help.  We left there happy, as we thought it was going to be the day we had to put her down.  Friday morning, on Halloween of all days, I received a call from the vet’s office.

Little Penny had so many elevated levels of enzymes in blood, indicating that her kidneys were already shut down 75% and going fast, and her liver was shutting down too.  The vet explained it all and that there was not turning back.  It could be kidney disease, could be cancer was inside her and spreading, just no way to be certain other than there was no way to reverse it.  And based on those levels and the seizures coming faster and harder (by the time the vet called she was having them every 10 minutes or less), the vet recommended that it was time to say goodbye.  I set the appointment and called my daughter. I’m not the educated one on all this, but she knew what it all meant, and our little baby was hurting inside but unable to tell us that. The seizures were very scary to the dog too and had to be painful when she dropped to the floor or into things.

It was only fitting that my sister-in-law was there working when we arrived.  Both of us crying carried little Penners into the room they had waiting when we got there.  SIL was tearing up too.  She prepared a port in Penny’s front leg then brought her back to us.  We sat and cried, talking to her and saying our goodbyes.  When the vet came in I held her in my lap as she administered the pink solution and in short seconds felt her little life leave her body, ending her suffering.  For the first time in weeks she got a belly rub, as she hadn’t let anyone do that lately, but now it didn’t hurt.  We both cried a long time before turning her over to be cremated.  We’ll have her ashes back in a few weeks.

I went down to get my coffee this morning, after waking up to no greeting when my eyes opened.  I found some of her toys on the floor and picked them up, very sad that she isn’t here to play with them anymore.  Her empty collar is hanging on my desk waiting for her urn to be wrapped around it.  I never imagined I could hurt so much over the loss of that silly little 8 pound doggie.  I’m just heart broken.

She is over the rainbow bridge chasing butterflies now.

Good-bye sweet baby, mama loved you SO much!

Penny

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Flaming Kittens!

Now please, someone correct me if  I am wrong, but I thought animals were instinctively afraid of fire?  We in the Diva Den certainly all thought so, and up until we started using the fire place were pretty certain the cats were onto the fact that fire is harmful.  The two older cats, Noel  and Pixel, seem to be aware, and will sit on the hearth in front to warm themselves and watch the flames.  Ditzy, on the other hand, just doesn’t get it.  We have known since day one that she is kind of special, as in mentally challenged, as in politically incorrect terms, flat out retarded.  Seriously, this is why she is named Ditzy, she is a ding bat.  Cute as can be as she stares in wide-eyed wonder at everyone and everything around her, but dumb as a brick.

She is fascinated by the fire place, to the point of trying to get IN there.  We get that cats are curious and love things that sparkle and dance.  But we also thought they just knew that fire can cause them harm.  Most animals that I am aware of will run from a forest fire, they know it is deadly.  This darling little creature seems to lack this knowledge.  Last night she once again got IN the fire place, with a fire roaring.  Thankfully we use ‘green’ logs, those store bought jobs that leave no mess and are cleaner burning.  They don’t put off as much heat but still do a fair job. 

So anyway there she is IN the fire place trying to touch the flames when she was noticed and rescued with minor singeing to her fur.  What is up with this little idiot????  We’d love to hear what anyone knows that can help us.  Someone said they don’t feel heat but I would say that is not true, as my cat LOVES snuggling on my electric blanket

Any thoughts??

Ditzy

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Bundles Of Love For $1200

I had to run over to the pet store to pick up some dry kitten food. My daughter tells me my baby, Pixel Kitten, needs to be on it til she is a year old so she is getting enough fats and proteins for her little, rapidly growing body. When I walked in the door, there in the display case I saw the cutest little Yorkie puppies. OMG I SO want them both! Floppy ears (so glad no one had their ears done) and so blasted adorable.

If I had $1200 I’d have walked out with both of them and figured out what to tell my mom later. Seriously, she could not have been around these adorable babies and not wanted to keep them, they are SO cute! They’d be loved all to death in the Diva Den, spoiled totally rotten with attention and affection. Diva Sarah would have them sleeping with her, she wants a dog so bad. Two would make her whole year on the spot!

Of course, they are males…which means they don’t quite make it in the estrogen tank of 5 women and 2 female cats. But we could name them Arthur and Lancelot, 4 legged ‘prince charmings’ that would never let us down. SIGH…oh well, I can dream!

Over Night Notes To Self

I am keeping my daughter’s dog, a 7.5 pound, 6 year old Yorkie, while she is  in Florida.  Yesterday was the puppy’s first full day here in the Princess Palace, and last night the second over night, just to set the stage.

NOTE #1 To Self: The doggie will eat the cat’s food, wet or dry, if left unattended.

NOTE #2 To Self: Sometimes a quiet doggie isn’t depressed  and missing her owner, it COULD mean she isn’t feeling so good.

 

The 7.5 pound cat food eating doggie

 

NOTE #3 To Self: If,  at 2am, the doggie suddenly jumps  off  of your bed and is crying at  your bedroom door, it might not be because the big cat is on the other side or the doggie is bored, it might mean she really does have to go outside,  NOW, even though she went right before we went night-night.

NOTE #4 To Self: If you ignore note #3,  the doggie WILL poop on your bedroom floor.   Nasty, smelly, cat-food poop that is soft.

NOTE #5 To Self: It is  NO fun to clean up the doggie poop that has been mentioned in Note #4, at 2:30am,  if  you have ignored Note #3 which resulted in Note #4.

NOTE #6 To Self: At 4am it is indeed wise to run for the nearest  exit to the backyard  if Note #3 is repeated at any time during the rest of the night.

NOTE #7 To Self: Note #3 can and will  be repeated many more times through the wee  hours of the morning until the  doggie has purged her system  of the cat food.

NOTE #8 To Self: Never ever again leave the doggie and the cat’s food unattended, and threaten all who offer the doggie a kitty cat treat with certain death.

Jingle Bell Sunrise Safari

Last night when the Diva’s went to bed,  we  were 5  women, 2 female cats and a female Yorkie.  The kitten and dog slept on my bed with me.   Well more accurately the dog slept on the bed by my left leg, the kitten  slept on my head, her favorite place to snooze.  Since the little Pixel weighs just over one pound that works well for now, but when she tops out several pounds heavier I’m not so  sure  it is going to be feasible.

This morning I woke from a deep slumber to the breeze of the fan gently blowing across the bed from the window, the sounds of little bells and ID tags  jingling,  and a warped episode of Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom playing out on me!  The  kitten and the dog were chasing each other, growling and meowing, all around on the bed.  Their little wrestling match was hard to ignore at 7:12am.  I made several attempts to get them to stop and go ‘night night’ but they were  far  too interested in their game.  Just when I thought they had finally given up the fun,  and I was drifting back to sleep, the dog  starts her “hey I need your assistance” grumble at the door.   It sounds  very much like geese honking.  I kept hoping to wake up from what would be a nightmare in a rain forest but  it was all too real.  The dog needed to go outside  before she had no other alternative but to pee  on the floor.  I left the room with her  and  kitten stayed behind.

Mind you, because of the great clay I use in my hair to get that spiky, butt-end of a chicken look on the back of  my head (the whole Kate Gosslin crossed with a soccer mommy style)  I am  sporting gold medal bed head.  I’m looking really fashionable in my light blue and white plaid  jammie shorts and matching blue tank top with sock monkeys covering them (part of the jungle theme today), yesterday’s makeup and mascara smeared around my eyes looking like a demented  raccoon (please do NOT call Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, I’d  never go out in public this way).  Naturally one of the neighbors from behind us was walking back down his long,  private driveway from retrieving his newspaper as I creep out on the deck with the killer pup.  Just when I thought I was safe, he had not spotted me,  my dumb dog starts barking at him.  Oh well I  just waved and smiled, hopefully he isn’t scarred for life.  When I came back up to my room after my  lengthy hike out to the back deck with the dog I heard the kitten crying at the top of her tiny lungs, she  was miffed we had left her behind.   I crawled back in bed in the hopes of a few more hours of sleep.  THAT was a joke,  the big cat is now outside of the door trying to open it, the kitten is  pouncing on my head  playing poke out your  peepers with her paws, and the dog is whining to be fed. I gave up and exited the jungle with the ferocious beasts hot on my trail.

First order of business is coffee.  None of the critters are going to starve if they wait 5 minutes but I very well might skin one of them alive without that caffeine jolt to push me back to rational  thought.  I also had not  yet taken my Lexapro and could not be held  responsible for my reaction to their 100mg morning assault. Besides I only take 40mg which was no match for their well planned foray.  I may need to discuss this with my doctor if the sunrise jungle boogie  is going to be on stage for an extended period of time.

Penny, the Yorkmonster, was fed first, the kitten has an endless supply of her dry  food that she already was munching, and then Noel, the big cat, was served some  nasty, fish smelling meal that won her approval.  Score: beasts 1, Marvi Marti 0.  I went back to make the bed and wait for the coffee  to  brew.  Now, I sit here sipping coffee and writing this account of my morning jingle bell safari.  Life in the Princess Palace: S.N.A.F.U.

The Safari Sisters

Little Pixel, Big Impact

Today is day four of being a cat owner for me.  Well let me rephrase that, I’ve seen a quote, “dogs have owners, cats have staff” so I guess I’m staff to a cat.  Because of her tiny size I thought the name Pixel fit her well.  She is SO tiny I fear stepping on her so one of the things my daughter did was purchase her a tiny break-away pink collar with a little pink bell on it.  Being a kitten she pounces and bounces a lot so we hear her no matter where she is at the moment.  The collar is extra small yet  is a bit large for the little fur ball.  She doesn’t realize that she could work it off her head if she knew what she was doing.  I question her age of 8 weeks old, though since the vet techs looked at her teeth to give an approximate age, perhaps she was the runt of her litter.

She is a whiny little thing unless she is being cuddled, meowing her tiny little heart out while trying to climb my pants leg if I am not holding her or on the floor playing with her.   She is fortunate to be in a household of women, someone is always feeling sorry for her and getting her from my room to love on her.  She will be spoiled rotten if she isn’t already.

I know very little about kittens and rely a lot on my daughter’s knowledge from vet tech school and work.  I do know for something so tiny she leaves a very strong stench in her litter box!  I’m cleaning it out daily and hopeful it is the worms giving her this lovely aroma or the fact that she is a baby and adjusting to kitten food.  She is a rescue case, her mama gave birth in a sewer and left her babies.  The little kittens made so much noise they drew attention and were retrieved and bottle fed, then weaned just recently.  Pixel’s bed is fur lined and she instinctively tries to nurse at the side of her bed, pawing the side and rooting in the fur to find a nipple.  She never finds one but sucks on the fur lining, purring, then curls up and sleeps.  Breaks my heart that she started life so rough but she is now a Diva and will be properly treated.

Noel, the big cat in the house, isn’t yet sure what she thinks of Pixel.  Sometimes she appears to be trying to get her to play, other times she has her pinned to the floor with the kitten’s entire head in her mouth or strangling her.  We have to watch this closely so she doesn’t hurt the baby.  If looks could kill Pixel would have gone to kitty heaven on day one, Noel glares at her when Pixel invades her litter box or water bowl.  It is amusing to watch the innocent actions of Pixel cause such jealous rage in Noel.

Sleep has been interrupted every night so far as Pixel wakes up next to me and thinks it is time to play.  She paws and nibbles my fingers and chin and if that doesn’t work crawls up the pillow and plays with my hair. The minute she sees my eyes open she meows and pounces.   During the night she has no fear of sliding off the edge of the bed to get food or use her litter box, then sits and meows til  I pick her up and put her back in the bed with me where she makes an attempt at play time again. Eventually she gives up and snuggles up against my chest to sleep.

If I leave the room she is hot on my heels.  When I shower in the morning I close my door so she isn’t roaming freely through the house unattended. She sits at the door meowing at the top of her tiny lungs until I come back.  This morning my niece tried putting her in her lap at her vanity while getting ready for school but Pixel wanted me.  She wasn’t happy unless she was curled up against me and sadly I had to get ready for work so that didn’t go so well.  When I was sitting on the floor trying to put my shoes on and play with her one last time, she tried to climb in my shoe.   She is so small she would fit nicely into my size 8 gym shoes.

For such a tiny little Pixel, she is making a big impact on my life and heart, I just adore this little cutie!  Yesterday one of  my brothers Tweeted asking if she gets fat will I be changing her name to Mega-Pixel. I admit, that is funny and I just might, though I have no intention of letting her get chubby!  Her first vet appointment is Saturday so we give her a good start with vaccines and a check up.  Guess she will be impacting my wallet along with me heart.  Right now I am sure my friend, Krista, is grinning and laughing at how easily Pixel has turned me into a cat lover. (stop laughing, and yes I’ll bring her to visit aunt Krista soon)

Someone thought they could keep me home from work by getting in my shoe.

I’m A Reformed Cat Hater

Any conditioned cat-hater can be won over by any cat who chooses to make the effort.
Paul Corey

I love that quote! And yes I am now a reformed cat hater.   Yesterday for my birthday my sister got me an 8 week old kitten.  In some light she appears black, in other light the markings of a deep brown tabby cat are evident and she is about the color of Karo corn syrup.  Because she is so tiny I named her Pixel.

Being so little and young she was very scared and I could not get her to sleep in her bed. Oh she loved it as long as I was up and moving around, but then she cried when I got in bed and came and sat there looking up at me in the night light, meowing.  I tried giving her the t-shirt I had on yesterday and that worked for about 5 minutes before she was back at the side of the bed.  Her little cry got to me so she ended up curled up against my chest for the night.  This made her happy if that is what the purring meant.  It was a safe, warm place for her.  Trouble is she woke during the night and thought it should be play time.  She would nibble and paw at my chin and fingers, then try to walk up my pillow and sit on my hair.  After retrieving her a few times she would nuzzle in again and go back to sleep, only to wake up a few hours later and start over.  I am a bit sleepy to say the least.

I left her with her litter box, which amazes me that she knows what to do with it, food, water and her bed with my t-shirt then closed the door and headed to work.  She will be safest in my room where Noel, the big cat, cannot bother her.  Noel is not impressed and tried to dribble Pixel’s head on the floor a few times and hissed at her.  Because Pixel still has claws I am hoping she takes a swipe at Noel’s nose and that ends the harassment.  Meanwhile I am sure that as soon as any of the Divas arrive home they will have Pixel in their laps or playing with her toys on the floor.

So me who hated cats, then grew to actually like Noel, now has my own cat and I’m falling in love with the adorable little bundle already.  Thankful I am for allergy meds which will allow her to be close to me, and lint rollers for removing traces of her from my bedding and clothes.

I think she is precious and I think loving an animal is great therapy for a broken heart. Therefore, since I am one bad relationship from owning 10 cats it is all the more reason NOT to get emotionally involved again.

Meow…


My Killer Yorkie…

I’ve written about her before, all 8.5 pounds of lean, mean, fighting machine, our very adorable little Yorkie, Penny.  She lives under the mistaken impression that she is a Rott.  She keeps our air space and yard free of squirrels, birds, stray cats and any potential threat (other people walking down the street for example) with her ferocious bark and “come on I dare you” stance.  It is highly amusing.

One of Penny’s favorite things to do is chase bunnies in the back yard.  If we see one outside we quietly let her out the door and say “get the bunny, Penny”.  She surveys the yard and is off the second she sees it.  She will never catch one because she begins barking as soon as she sees the furry little creature and it is gone through the fence long before she is anywhere near.  She runs as fast as her four little legs can carry her around the entire yard before coming back to the porch looking for a reward for the efforts.

My daughter is working for a local vet while going to school for her vet tech degree.  She has always had a gift with animals, they trust her to no end.  The church we used to attend had a meadow and woods behind it.  When she was about 13, while I was preparing the bulletin for the Sunday services, she walked out into the meadow and put her hand out in the direction of a doe and her fawn.  They walked across the meadow to her and allowed her to pet them.  Her daddy walked to the back of the building to look out and see where she was and saw her petting them.  My poor husband nearly had heart failure when he spotted her.  She was oblivious to the danger she was in if she spooked them, they’d have sliced her to pieces with their hooves, but he was very aware.  He eased out into the parking lot at about the same time the buck made an appearance at the edge of the trees and grunted.  The doe and fawn turned and went trotting off into the woods with him.  Then daddy gently lectured his daughter of the danger she had placed herself in.  She simply could not imagine that the deer would hurt her, after all they walked up to her.  We knew she had a gift just really had no concept of how much of one.  She very easily quiets angry or frightened animals, it is amazing to watch her.  She has always had this ability, and always connected with the animal kingdom on a level few can.  Even bugs get her love, she cried once when daddy ran over a pill bug with the car.  She has a collection of rodents (sorry but rabbits are rodents, as are hamsters and gerbils of which she has many) at her boyfriend’s house because daddy won’t allow them in our home.  We had 4 house rabbits at one point and the memory of them has yet to fade for either of us.  At home she has 2 frogs and a 25 gallon aquarium  in her room, that is enough for us along with the dog.

Last night she brought home one of her bunnies from her boyfriend’s house because she was taking it to work for a checkup the next morning.  Jerry Lee is his name and he looks like a large version of the wild rabbits we have in the landscaping.  His large cage sat in the living room over night, much to the delight of Penny.  She thought he was a toy for her!  She wagged her tail and went around his cage sniffing him all evening.  Poor Jerry Lee stayed in the furthest corner of the cage out of Penny’s reach.  First thing this morning she ran from my daughter’s room to Jerry Lee’s  cage to be sure the new toy was still there.  Jerry Lee had enough and thumped his  back paw down on the bottom of that cage so hard it sounded like a gun shot.  During the night he had done this and Pete thought it was a gun shot and got up to investigate, making his rounds through the house, even thinking perhaps a spring had snapped on the garage door until when he came back through the living room he realized it had been the rabbit.  The move scared Penny half to death, sending her fleeing to the bathroom with me and my daughter.  She was visibly shaken by the confrontation and we got a real good laugh out of little Miss Tough Dog being afraid suddenly of a bunny.  When I let her out of the bathroom  she refused to go near the cage, I had to carry her through the living room to the kitchen to let her outside.  Upon returning she went all the way around the perimeter of the room,  around the back side of the couch before emerging and realizing she could not get down the hallway without passing Jerry Lee’s cage.  She sat down and whined, and I was doubled over laughing at her.  I retrieved Penny and carried her back to my daughter’s room where she hid until Jerry Lee had left the house.  I’m not certain how long it will be before she is ready to take on the bunnies in the yard again but my guess is for a little while they are safe from the killer Yorkie.

The Killer Yorkie

I’ve Offended The Dog

We have this adorable little 9 pound Yorkie, Penny.  She has been the subject of my blog on the other page a few times as she is my little buddy and often my shadow when I’m home.  While she is our daughter’s dog she prefers to sleep in my bed under a blanket I made, right at my feet.  This is  most likely because I am the one that feeds her so she knows when I crawl out it is chow time and she can ensure she doesn’t miss it this way. No matter the reason for her undying adoration, I’ll take it.

If you’ve been following the Drama Unit saga you know that we are in the process of buying one house and selling another.  My youngest niece has a kitten named Noel because she got her in December.  Noel is just adorable and this is coming from someone who hates cats with a passion. To me the only good one is a dead one.  But Noel wormed her little self into my heart.  I have to accept her anyway, she will be yet another female at Estrogen Ground Zero soon.  Anyway the cat has to be out of the house if there is a showing and today at 11:30 there was one scheduled.  I had to go get the cat and her litter box and remove them from the house, so I brought her to my home.  My dog is a snob and won’t even acknowledge another dog as far as socializing, only goes after those she deems a threat to me.  I anticipated a problem when I brought Noel in the house, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Penny thought it was a new toy for her.  Noel weighs in at about 4 pounds if that.  She is a small cat and the vet says she won’t likely get much bigger.  Penny out sizes her by 5 pounds and looks her in the eye as far as height.  Penny’s little tail wagged away, she really was ready to play which surprised me.  Noel was having no part of it, fur all standing up and hissing every time Penny got near her.  Poor Penny, she really did just want to run through the house and have fun and Noel just wanted to be left alone.  After several tries the dog gave up and went to her usual cushion on the love seat and Noel took refuge on a chair under the dinning room table.  A few times Penny went looking for her but with no cat experience had no idea to look UP for the feline.

When it was time to take Noel back home I packed up the litter box and then the cat. The dog started barking when I put Noel in her carrier, she was pissed off that I took her toy! Now that I’ve returned to the house she is shunning me, completely offended that I brought in this new toy then took it away again! She’ll get over it I’m sure, but wow all that over what would be her enemy. When I have visitation of the dog (yes I am getting her weekends but that is because of the daughter and Pete’s work schedules so we jokingly call it visitation rights) she and Noel will hopefully form a friendship.  Meanwhile my older niece about has grandma talked into a puppy, another toy breed that doesn’t shed. Just wait til I come home with a tea cup Yorkie for me! Oh and all females, we don’t want a hormone imbalance!

Oh and shhh….Pete is allergic to cats, let’s not tell him Noel was here!