Monday, May 19, 2014

Goodbye to Dakota

This past Saturday was a sad day for us.  We had to say goodbye to Dakota, our 15 year rescue sheltie. She had been struggling lately, finding it very difficult to sit down and even more so to get up.  We found out on Friday that she had an adrenal gland tumor when she went for her ultrasound and we knew that at her age, we could do nothing more for her. She had been stumbling and falling down on her way to her water bowl so we made the difficult decision to say goodbye to her on Saturday.  My husband held her close until her last breath and I hope she knew how much we loved her in in her short 3 years with us.

She did not care for our cats and when they came too close she would bare her teeth to warn them off. We did worry a little when we first brought her home but realized that our cats were smart enough to keep their distance and certainly were not interested in getting to know her better. Towards the end Dakota tolerated the cats and would let them share the coveted front window space with her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spike enjoys sitting on our coffee table when we are watching TV - very sociable when it is on his terms.  We had placed a cat cushion on the table for his comfort but after seeing it slide onto the floor a few times when a heavy cat body launched himself onto it we knew we had to find a better solution. We were at Winners the other day...walking around and "window shopping" inside the store - when we saw a large tray. The edge looked high enough to contain the cushion and it seemed like it would be large enough. But...this wouldn't have been the first time that my eye was a poor substitute for a tape measure so I reluctantly left the tray.

When we measured at home and then went back to the store I was relieved to see it was still there.  We have learned there is a a rule of thumb when shopping at both Winners and Costco...if you like something you see, buy it right then since it probably won't be there the next time you are back.

We stuffed the cat cushion into the tray and waited.  Before long we had a couple of sniffers coming by to check out the latest acquisition. Although hard to see in the photo, the tray has a faux snake finish so maybe they thought we had a new pet!  Apparently the new snoozing option has been met with favour since we now have two regular occupants - Spike and Angel.  Of course, if Angel is occupying the cushion and Spike comes by, it is just a matter of minutes before Spike moves in. As is his usual practice, Spike starts off with an innocent sniff at Angel's ear which is quickly followed by a soft paw to the face or backside. Grudgingly, Angel gets up and looks for another Spike-free spot.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A handsome guest

Imagine you are driving through the city at night, heading over a bridge, when out of the corner of your eye you see what looks like a little rabbit.  Curious, you stop and get out to look a little more closely. Then you realize it is a little black kitten who has been hit by a car and whose tail has been run over.

Fast forward 12 years, and you are holding a sleek, warm, loving cat who looks up at you with the most amazing green eyes. The little stub of a tail that has been left after the vet amputated the balance of the damage is wiggling back and forth, showing the love and affection this cat has for you.

That is the story of Lynn and Champ.  Champ's name comes from the Champlain Bridge where he was rescued by Lynn.

We have been fortunate to have Champ visit with us for almost two weeks and we have grown to love the little purring machine during his time here.  He had his own room, with cat beds, cat tent, bookcase set up by the window for cat TV and a dark, quiet cupboard for him to go in whenever he felt the need for safety.  He could hear and smell the other cats in the household and often he would see a little white paw reaching under the door from the other side.   He met the two younger dogs, both of whom desperately wanted to stick their heads through the bedroom door and have a sniff.  He has his own Sheltie companion at home so exhibited no concern about the little wet black noses sniffing at his face.

It took him a day to get used to me. At first  he would either head into his travelling cat bag or into the cupboard. Within a few minutes his little face would peek out, and he would watch me intently with those beautiful green eyes of his.   Not my first cat I knew just to sit patiently and keep talking to him. Of course, a cat treat or two always helps!

Once he was used to me, I would come in to visit with my coffee and book.  Sometimes he would sit on the desk just behind my shoulder and purr, sometimes he would roll on the carpet and sharpen a claw or two (on the carpet...not on me!) When he wasn't getting enough attention (read: scratching ear, rubbing side of face, patting back) he would jump up on my lap and push his head against my hand or arm.  He has the sweetest soft little meow and he always knew when I was walking by the other side of the door since it would be quiet until I was almost by the door then I would hear than plaintive call for attention. The song of the siren..which would call to both my younger son and myself.  Hard to say no ...and I must admit I was a little late to work one day since I just had to pop in to give him just a few more head scratches before I left!

He is now back home and the guest room is sadly empty. Aaah...if only all guests were such a delight!