Tag Archives: pets

Good news y’all

Small dog in kennel
Poptart is not a happy camper

I’m gonna use this picture of him again because any other picture I take will look basically the same. 🙂 Anyway, got a call from the vet this morning and the tumor they removed from Poptart was invasive but benign. A rather aggressive fatty tumor. He’ll be fine in a couple of weeks or so. He’s so not happy being confined to his kennel, but every time I let him out, Brandy’s all: Let’s play! and yeah, back in he goes. Plus every time a car comes anywhere near our driveway he has a tendency to race out and bark ferociously at it. Since the tumor was in his chest muscle just under his right leg, he can’t go racing willy-nilly about the place without tearing things open. So in the kennel he stays. It’s like trying to keep a sick kid in bed, only easier because with a kennel I can lock the door — but harder because at least with a sick kid I could try to explain why I was torturing them thusly.

Anyway, thought I would update y’all on what the vet said. Aggressive but in the end, benign. So, good news.

A smallish update

So yesterday, our little Chihuahua mix, Poptart had surgery to get his fatty tumor removed. It cost us a bit more than we were expecting because it had grown since the time the vet felt it last week and yesterday and they were concerned it might be cancerous — we’re still waiting on them to call us about that. Poor little guy is not happy about being confined to his kennel with an inflatable collar on, but it’s for his own good. We have two other dogs and a cat and they will most assuredly try to lick his wounds even if he can’t reach them. And I don’t want him starting a fight with the cat until he’s healed a bit.

I do feel sorry for animals whenever we do something like surgery to them. Like, we can’t tell them, “Hey little guy, we’re going to cut you open to get this bad thing out of you, and it’s gonna hurt, but in a few days you’ll feel better.” All Poptart knows is that Doug took him to a place he (Poptart) doesn’t like. And Doug (a person Poptart loves and trusts) left him there for no good reason. Then poor Poptart was poked, shaved, prodded and and conked out, and when he woke up he hurt like hell. And he probably doesn’t have a clue why he’s got this pain in his side, or why he has a bit ol’ collar on his neck or why he’s stuck in his kennel, and no matter how much I try and comfort him, there’s no explaining to him why he has to stay there for a day or two. He’ll have to wear the collar for a while. He gets walks every two hours. He’ll be okay.

Poor little guy.

But I’ll tell ya, dear reader. I don’t know what we’ll do if he has cancer. We totally cannot afford any extended treatment for him. We could barely afford his surgery. I suppose we’ll just have to hope the surgeon got everything and see what happens next. The preliminary tests showed it wasn’t cancer, but that tumor grew pretty fast and went pretty deep — which is why the surgery cost more than we anticipated — but just under what we could afford. Ah well, best not to worry about it until it happens. Anyway. I thought I’d update y’all on what’s going on with our little guy. The other dogs get a little anxious with his whining, but believe me, it would be a lot worse if I let them play with him or try and lick his wounds. He’s better off in there for a few days anyway. Even if he doesn’t think so.

A quick update

He’ll be okay

Just so’s y’all know. I mentioned that Poptart has a lump on his side and we took him to the vet for his annual check up. The vet did a biopsy of the lump and it’s a fatty tumor. Not malignant at all. No cancer. He said we can just keep an eye on it if we want to, but it’s probably best to remove it now before it gets any bigger. It’ll probably cost about $500 altogether. Poptart still has a few more years left in him — he’s ten I think — so we’ll probably get that taken care of. Just thought y’all would like to know in case you were worried about the little guy.

Title goes here

Every once in a while, I just get too tired to write, but I know that I have people here who follow my blog and y’all expect me to post on my blog, so I’m faced with the dilemma of writing something. So, do I post about being too tired to write and (to paraphrase Shakespeare) how can I be too tired to write if I’m writing about being too tired to write?

So I obviously have *some* energy, dear reader, but not a lot. Yesterday, I cleaned out the spare bedroom — the one we call the “cat’s room” because it is where the cat has his litter box and where we feed him. It was a right mess to tell y’all the truth, and it took me about an hour to clean it out. But I did it, and after I did it, I was wiped out for quite a while afterwards. Today, the nice lady who walks the dogs and trims their nails came over and trimmed the dogs’ nails. I don’t know if any of y’all have dogs and/or trim their nails, but for me, it’s quite the adventure. My cat? He’s the easy one. Five seconds and he’s done. My dogs are trained enough that they come to me so we don’t have to chase them down, but they do not like getting their nails trimmed. Not at all. So we do have to hold them down. Well, I have to hold them down while she trims their nails. And Poptart is a biter, so we have to put a muzzle on him and wrap him in a blanket. He’s getting a lot better than he was when we first got him. But he still doesn’t like getting his nails trimmed. At least they enjoy the walk afterwards. Right? ^_^

Chillin’ like a villian

Still, holding down three dogs (and kind of holding down the cat — though not really) in a row is quite exhausting. Even though they’re not big dogs — Brandy is the biggest a 40 pounds — and they don’t really struggle. Okay, sometimes they do, because they honestly don’t want to have their nails clipped, and they occasionally just say: “Nope, don’t want to be here.” and try to get up and walk away, which is why I have to hold them down. But they’re trained enough to lie still for the most part. So it’s still an effort. It got me to thinking… I often wonder — because they’re all rescue dogs — what actually happened to them in their previous lives, before they came to live with us? Of course unless I get a time machine, I’ll never know. I can only surmise judging by their action and reactions. And when I watch how they act and react to everyday occurrences, I sometimes wish I could go back to their previous owners and say, “What the hell did you do to this dog?” The only one that seems even remotely normal is Cocoa… though even he has some strange quirks. For example, if my phone, or anything else mechanical, dings, rings, or buzzes, he will suddenly look troubled — even sad — and go hide in his box. We have a big, cardboard box that he likes to spend a lot of time in. He’s a cave dweller, what can I say? Most of the time he’ll be happily chilling out here in the living room and then something will “Ding!” and he slinks away into his box. It’s so weird. He does the same if anyone raises their voice around him too, but I guess that’s understandable. He just might not like loud voices.

Calm picture of Poptart not being angry.

I think I mentioned that Poptart was a hot mess when we first got him. He was a snappy, snarly bundle of fury, and he’s calmed down a lot in the three years we’ve had him. But his one thing (other than not liking his nails clipped) is that he absolutely cannot stand anything near him if he’s under something like a blanket — which gets to be hysterical sometimes because he and Cocoa often share the same space and Cocoa will just be chilling out then Poptart will go under the blanket next to Cocoa and immediately start growling at Cocoa for invading his space. Though lately Cocoa has started growling at Poptart whenever Poptart starts to go under the blanket so I guess he’s getting tired of those shenanigans. But I have to wonder what made Poptart so sensitive in that way. I mean, I get the feeling that he was at the very least put under a blanket and teased incessantly and possibly worse until he got to the point where he is now — not trusting anything outside of the blanket, but unable to overcome his instinct to nest under the blanket. You know? It makes me so angry. I mean, Poptart weighs all of eight pounds and he’s bordering on overweight. How can anyone mistreat something so small? It’s inconceivable to me. He’s stopped biting people indiscriminately though. So there’s that. 🙂

Old Pic of Brandy

I was looking through old pictures the other day (which is kind of what started this train of thought) and I found pictures of Brandy when we first got her. Dear reader, she always looked so sad and afraid. Every picture I have of her back then she looks… unsure and just… sad I guess. Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing feelings onto her, but she was also a hot mess when we first adopted her. I honestly want to smack someone. I don’t think that the people who had her before abused her outright. I think they neglected her. Put her in the back yard and left her there. I remember when we first got her she didn’t know how to walk on a leash (neither did Poptart btw) or how to sit or anything. She’s a smart dog though, she’s learned a lot. My only regret with Brandy is that the Humane Society we got her from flat out lied on her adoption papers. They said, “She wants nothing more than to sit at your feet and be loved.” Because we were looking for a dog that didn’t need a lot of exercise. Well guess what? She’s a cattle dog mix and guess what she needs? A lot of exercise. That’s why I have a nice lady to come and walk her once a week. And that’s why we have a big yard. It’s the best we can do for her.

all three dogs

But the past is the past, and I love my furbabies… all four of them. They may have been a hot mess when we first got them (except for Cocoa, who’s been okay for the most part), but they’re doing okay now. It’s one of the reasons why I usually get rescue animals. Because everyone needs a second (or third or even fourth) chance. I mean the only thing we know about Poptart is that he came here from California, and he came to California from Hawaii. We live in Washington, dear reader. That’s a long way for such a small dog. The only thing we know about Cocoa is that he was a stray, which is not surprising since he does have a tendency to want to wander. He’s wandered out of our yard at least half a dozen times and he is headstrong in wanting to go that –> way. He might have had a good family who missed him but he wandered too far and they just simply never found him. Well, we’ve had him for six years and we’ve done our damnedest to never let him out of our sight, but he had tried to see what’s over the horizon, the little stinker. ^_^ I don’t dwell too much on my pets’ past, because I have them now, but sometimes… sometimes dear reader, I do wonder, and sometimes I just get a little angry that there are people out there in the world who neglect and mistreat animals to the point that they mistrust others. Then I get over it, because now I have my little family, and we’re doing okay.

I guess I had some energy to write after all. ^_^

Just don’t expect me to proofread, okay? 😛

Some random pictures

We had some snow the other day — Sunday to be exact. It looks pretty awesome, but it makes driving a bit difficult. Doug missed work on Monday because neither of our cars could make it out of the driveway. Here are a couple of pictures of Mister in the snow:

Yep, he was not having it, but he also wasn’t happy about the dogs being out with him inside. The dogs really didn’t care about the snow one way or the other. They treat it much the same way they treat rain. Something to be endured until it goes away.

Our pump froze yesterday because the bulb in the pump house went out. Everyone and their uncle told us “keep a light on in the pump house to keep it from freezing.” even after I told them the thing froze because light bulb burnt out. It’s weird how many people missed that. What’s weirder is that I took a nice, hot shower like at midnight the night before, so it didn’t take very long for the stupid thing to freeze, because Doug woke me up at 8am to tell me the water wasn’t working. So less than 8 hours. We have a space heater in there right now on low and that’ll do until the snow’s gone then we’ll put a better lamp in there — one that won’t blow through light bulbs like this one seems to.

Anyway, more random pictures: I took this picture in my Skyrim game the other day. It’s of my last character. She’s selling stuff in Windhelm, a city that’s cold and grey. I thought it would look great as an old photograph. Like one of those snapshots that people used to take of others on the streets. So that’s what I tried to make it look like:

Original screenshot:

And the Photoshopped version, made all black and white, and grainy with vignetting (I like vignetting) and just a touch of color added back in so it looks like a faded picture. It’s weird how cropping the picture and changing to monochrome changed the lighting dramatically. I didn’t touch the lighting at all in this picture, but in the monochrome, the emphasis is on her face, where in the original screenshot, her face seems to be in the shadows. She’s wearing a backpack, which is why there’s a dark space between her and the chair. You can kind of see the woodcutter’s ax that’s attached to it.

So there’s my randomness for today. Two completely unrelated topics. Okay, both are pictures, but still completely unrelated. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed.

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weathertoday

Weather right now (8AM)

I noticed yesterday when commenting on other people’s blogs that it’s been a minute since I’ve blogged myself, so I reminded myself to write a blog post today. It’s not that I don’t want to write, I do. Writing is integral to my continuing sanity… I’ve just been too tired to string words together and form coherent sentences. These fatigue flares come and go, but I get them pretty bad when the weather changes. And it doesn’t matter if it’s going from hot to cold or visa versa. Whenever the weather changes abruptly, my body just says, “Yeah, I don’t like that.” and kind of shuts down to emergency power. It’s way worse right now when our weather can’t make up its mind if it’s Summer or not. Like last week it was it was in the 60’s (F), and now it’s supposed to be somewhere in the 90’s (F). Not to mention that most of the year, it’s dry around here but in the summer, it’s flipping humid. So that’s a shock to my system too.

All that to say… I’m tired. Blah. And the weather only plays a part in the reason why I’m tired. If my stupid body would stop waging war against me, I wouldn’t be so exhausted. You know? But I’m trying, dear reader, I’m trying.  ^_^

poptart lap

laptime for Poptart

Yesterday, the furbabies got their claws trimmed. I have a nice lady who comes to my home once a week and takes the dogs for a walk. Once a month, the same lady and I sit down and trim all of the pets’ claws. But for one reason or another, we had to put it off last month, so they were all overdue for a trim. Poptart, my Chihuahua mix does not like to have his claws trimmed at all. We have to muzzle him and wrap him up in a blanket and poke one paw out at a time to get it done, and even then he can be quite a handful. Who knew that such a small dog could be so strong? O_o  He’s come a long way though. He doesn’t actually try and bite us anymore. We still muzzle him though, just in case, and it takes way less time than it used to. The first time we cut his nails, we had to give up halfway through because he was being so fiesty, even with the muzzle. I think he’s learned that we’re not actually hurting him. He still doesn’t like getting his claws done, but he’s getting way better at letting us do them. So we finally finished with him, he got his treat and then we did Cocoa.

cocoa sleeping

Cocoa

Cocoa is a Corgi mix, and he’s usually generally chill about getting his claws trimmed, even though he doesn’t particularly like it. He’s usually chill about pretty much everything really.  We still have to hold him down though, because he will try and get up and passively walk away. Like: I’m not going to make a big deal out of this, but I don’t like it. So I’ll be going now. Buh-bye. ^_^  Generally, with Cocoa, he’ll sit (or lie) still until the last paw, then he start acting up. He’s just over our shenanigans by that point. But he claws had gotten way too long for us to let him go another day, let alone another month.  So, sorry buddy, you were getting done whether you liked it or not. Luckily, with Cocoa, there’s little chance of getting bit. He just kind of looks up at me and tries to make me feel guilty for putting him through it all. Cocoa is a lot like a toddler.

brandy3

Brandy

Then we did Brandy… Brandy is cattle-dog mix, and she used to be like Cocoa but with more… anxiety I guess you would say. Brandy has always been an anxious dog, since the moment we’ve brought her home. We can’t even comb her without her shaking in fear, even after five years, she still shakes. though she’s calmed down and doesn’t cower on the floor whenever we get out the brush, so… progress? But we have to clip her nails even if it makes her anxious. I mean there are some things, dear reader, that must be done. And clipping the claws of your pet, even if they don’t like it, that has to be done. For some reason, Brandy got particularly anxious about her nail grooming, and it took a couple of tries to do her nails. There’s a hold that normally will keep a dog down with little effort,  but she got out if pretty easily. She totally didn’t want to be trimmed. But, as with Cocoa, she couldn’t go another day, let alone another month without getting trimmed. So after a couple more tries, we got it done. But let me tell you something, dear reader, reminding a dog who the boss of the house is can be exhausting. Worry not, dear reader, I don’t raise my hand to my dogs, but I got my point across, and she got her nails trimmed.

pensive-mister

My Mister

Mister, the cat — contrary to most people’s expectations — is the easiest of them all. He just sits on my lap and grumbles about it, but doesn’t try to run away or pull his feet back. He just grumbles, growls, gets his treat, and leaves with dignity. Well, as much dignity as an old, fat cat can muster. He’s always been easy to trim, so long as I hold him. I can’t trim his nails myself because he pulls his feet back if I do it. But if I hold him, he’ll let someone else do it.  It’s the same when we go to the vet, if I’m standing next to the table and petting him, the vet can pretty much do whatever they need to do, take his temp, give him a shot, feel his belly… whatever. But the minute they take him to the “other room” to do anything, he turns into a “typical cat” and starts hissing, growling, swatting, and biting. There was one vet office where the nurses were terrified of Mister. They actually sedated him for everything. We didn’t stay with that vet long. I mean… come on. He’s a cat. Yeah, he’s a 20 pound cat, but he’s a cat. And he’s never bitten me. No other vet seems to have problem with him. Anyway, he got his nails trimmed too. We save him for last because he’s the easiest. ^_^

furbabies

miscreants

Still, at the end of it all, I was done for the day. I totally meant to write a blog post yesterday but yeah… My nice lady showed up at 10AM for pet grooming and dog walking and she left around noonish, if I remember correctly. We did the grooming first. I think next time, we’ll do the walking first. ^_^ Maybe work some of the anxiety out. Ha! I’m still tired today and my muscles are sore from holding all of the dogs down yesterday. But I’m glad we got it done.  I guess y’all might ask why I don’t just take them to a groomer rather than have one come here… Well, it would be a lot more hassle for me to — make an appointment (and… shudder… go out into the world), pack all four pets up into a car, drive them to a groomer, drag them out of the car, into the groomer’s place,  deal with the receptionist — paying, chit chatting, dealing with other customers, keeping an eye on the pets et al… — drive back home, wait for them to be done, drive back to the groomer, get the pets, put them back into the car, and drive home. Way too much hassle. It’s a lot easier having someone come to my house and trim their nails, even if I need to help them do it.

So this ramble turned into a discourse about my day yesterday. Ah well, it’s better than silence I suppose. I’ll try not to let too much time lapse before the next blog post, but damned if I’m not schlepping through life under water right now — that’s what it feels like anyway. Stupid body.

 

My Mister

MMister is the name of my cat. He’s also known as My Mister or Mister Mister. And no, I didn’t name him after the cat in the Dresden Files. I hadn’t read those books before I named Mister. I still haven’t read them, actually, but enough people have asked me that question that I’m given to understand there’s a cat named “Mister” in those books. I guess. ^_^  Anyway, Mister looks like a Mister to me, and thus he was named so. I got him from my youngest daughter, and I don’t even remember where she said she got him. She didn’t have him for very long. Not nearly the eight years that I’ve had him, because he’s about ten years old, and well… you do the math. ^_^ Anyway, I didn’t really care where he came from… he was a cool cat. I adored him then, and I adore him now. I believe his name was El Diablo or something like that. I didn’t pay much attention to what his name was because he wasn’t keeping it. He was Mister to me, and Mister he remained. Mister knows his name and will come when called. He’s a smart cat and knows the hand that feeds him.

Mister Mister

Mister when I first adopted him circa 2010

Mister is a fat cat. He was fat when I got him –about 25 pounds and he’s been fat since. I’ve tried many many ways to slim him down, but he has always remained fat. As I mentioned, he’s about ten years old now, according to the vet’s best estimate, and thinner than he’s ever been. I don’t think he will get much smaller.  It’s not good to put a cat on a diet and make them lose a lot of weight. Too much dieting will make them susceptible to fatty liver disease. Way back when I first got Mister, his obesity concerned me, especially since we lived in such cramped quarters, so I reached out for help about kitty weight loss online with this question and got a lot of good advice. Mister became a much healthier cat after I asked that question. He’s never gonna be slim, trim, and svelte like the little 8 pounders most people are used to, but he’s at least healthy-ish.  I believe he weighs about 19 pounds now. Much better than 25.  He’s still bigger than Poptart, our Chihuahua mix (photo evidence below).

Mister in the Beast

Mister in our Motorhome

As I mentioned in the linked question above, Mister and I lived in an 18 foot motorhome for a little under a year, back in 2010. The picture above is him sitting in the window of said home, and the picture to the side is him chilling out on the bed. He was actually pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. His favorite activity was to hang out on the dashboard and watch the world go by. We had a bit of a scare in Mississippi during the summer because it got way too hot, but we worked around it. I used to take him on walks at night to stretch his legs. He enjoyed them. Yes, a cat that walked. I don’t have any pictures of that, but it happened. I don’t take him on walks now because I have a quarter acre fenced yard that he romps about in. And he much prefers that.  He’s too old and fat to jump over the fence, so I’m okay with him going outside. There aren’t any birds he can reach out there — he totally doesn’t jump, they’d have to walk up to him for him to catch them —  but there’s plenty of mice for him to hunt if they come too close.

Mister

Yo! It’s food o’clock.

Mister is probably one of the coolest cats I’ve ever run across, let alone owned. He and and I complement each other very nicely. We’re both very “Whatever, man.” when it comes to life. If only he didn’t get up so early in the morning and demand to be fed. Ha! Now, I’m an early riser myself, but I get up with the sun, so if the sun doesn’t poke its head over the horizon until eight, I’m not getting up until eight. But Mister is all, “Hey, you fed me once at five am, like way back in 2010.  Can you do that again? Please?” He’s got a memory like a steel trap, that one. Especially when it comes to food.  I’ve had to start closing the door to my bedroom because I wasn’t getting any sleep (poor Mister). I mean, Mister thinks 2:30 AM is snuggle time and 5:00 AM is food time. I go to bed most nights at midnight-thirty, so being woken up by a 20 pound cat on my chest two or three times a night demanding snuggles and/or food wasn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep. Bless his little heart. Also, he’s a big fan kneading biscuits and of love bites. So there’s that. There’s nothing like being bitten out of the blue to wake a person up. Luckily, he’s not a vocal cat. He sees that the door is closed and is like, “Oh well, I’ll wait.” But as soon as the door is open, he’s off to where the food is stored. Because the poor thing is wasting away to practically nothing.

sleeping mister

His favorite pastime

As I mentioned, Mister is about ten years old, which makes him the oldest of our pets. Now, American Shorthair cats (which Mister is, I think) live to be anywhere from 15-20 years. Mister, however is obese, I mean there’s no way around that, and has already given us two scares with a blocked urinary tract. The last time he was blocked, the doctor told us that we would have to either do an expensive surgery to remove his penis or put him down. We chose to do neither and brought him home after they removed the blockage. We figured we’d at least give him a chance to heal on his own instead of subjecting him to a surgery that may or may not work.  That was two years ago. We have him on a special diet for cats prone to blockage, and feed him wet food too. But we’ve also resigned ourselves to the fact that Mister is living on borrowed time since his appears to be prone to urinary blockage and it’s just a matter of time before he’s blocked again. He may not see his full twenty years. But hey, he’s lived a good long life as it is, and I’m happy to have had him these last eight years. I’ll cherish whatever time I have left with him.

uneasy truce

An uneasy Truce

For now though, he appears to be a happy, healthy cat even with the extra pounds. And Doug and I are taking it one day at a time.  I just wish that Mister and Poptart got along better. He gets along fine with Cocoa. Cocoa and Mister are like best buds. They share spaces all of the time. A lot of the time if you can’t find Mister, he’s in Cocoa’s kennel, just chilling out like it ain’t no thing. They don’t, like, groom each other or anything, but I’ve seen them sleeping side by side on the bed, and they often butt heads in a friendly manner. Mister and Brandy on the other hand, are akin to roommates who are low-grade hostile, but tolerate the fact that they’re forced to live in the same space. They don’t fight (much, twice — maybe three times — in the six years they’ve been cohabiting) but they aren’t exactly warm toward the other. They studiously avoid one another I guess is the best way to put it. But Mister and Poptart? They barely tolerate each other. It’s an… uneasy truce is a good term for how they act. I suppose I should be happy that they don’t fight. Because I think that Mister can take Poptart in a one to one. But if a fight broke out, well… it would be a free for all, wouldn’t it? Unlucky for me Mister is an instigator. He likes to get on Poptart’s nerves… push his buttons. Then run and hide. The little sneak.

mister windowSo, that’s My Mister. He’s my cat, and I love him. Mister and I have been through a lot together, and he’s taken it like a champ. He’s way more chill than most cats I’ve known or had. And, I’ve had him longer than any pet I’ve ever owned. He’s been in my life longer than Doug has. I left Mister with a friend of mine in Mississippi for a brief period when I moved to New Mexico (no pets allowed in the apartment), but Doug and I went and got him after we moved in together, and I’m so glad we did. Turns out, Doug is allergic to cats — which he totally knew — but for some reason, he doesn’t seem to react that strongly to Mister. Even so, he was willing to live with Mister despite his allergy, bless his heart. Gotta love a man who’s willing to suffer for love. ^_^ Turns out I’m allergic to cats too. Highly allergic it seems. I appear to be allergic to dogs too, but not as allergic as I am to cats. A fact I didn’t know until after I adopted and fell in love with this kooky cat. Because of our mutual allergies, I don’t think Doug and I will get another cat after Mister Mister passes, but until then, he will have a loving and happy home with us. He’s brought much joy into my life, and I hope I’ve brought as much joy into his.