Tag Archives: Pets

Smoke: The sequel

Smoke is no exception to the rule that the sequel is always worse. Probably because of the wind direction, the smoke from a new batch of forest fires surrounds us. The smell is the worst yet. The basalt hills are not yet completely screened out, but this time we are surrounded on all sides. It’s thick. Effie of course wants to be out in Effieland. I picked some catnip sprigs for her to eat indoors. She was momentarily compensated but now wishes to be let out again.

It’s going to be kind of a day here. . . .

Effie looks longingly through the window at her beloved Effieland  and I try to combine consolation with my chores. She caught and ate a tiny bug, which brought her transitory happiness.



Filed under Action & Being, Cats, Effie, Effieland, Health, Home Life, Nature, News, Photos, Rural life, Seasons, Weather

Effie desponds over Effieland precautions

Effie’s veterinarian recommended pets should be kept indoors until the smoke from the forest fires departs. Effie yowled in protest, and my husband was quite sure the smoke hadn’t killed or sickened us, and Effie was likely more resilient.

I’ve been letting her out for a half-hour to an hour at a time, and she seems perfectly well. She becomes understandably grumpy when I bring her in, unless she wants to come in.

I limit her time outdoors only because of our vet’s advisory. It’s difficult, because Effie yowls incessantly if she can’t be outdoors when she wants to be in her wonderful garden place, Effieland.

She came in a little while ago–actually I entered Effieland and carried her into the house. She ate some of her food and retreated to her window perch, looking somewhere between not amused and somewhat despondent.

“The smoke cannot retreat soon enough. . . .”


Filed under Animals, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Effieland, Home Life, Photos

Effie & Halvor: It’s more about jurisdiction than thwarted romance

P1020038 This is Effieland–does this look like Halvorland to you?


Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Photos

It’s 102° in Effieland. . .and Effie is not happy about it

P1010978Let’s wait till sunset, Effie. . .it feels like Tripoli out here!

P1010979But I wanna go out NOW!!!!

Hang in their, Effie, just seven hours to go. . .




Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Photos, Seasons, Weather

One for the dogs


                 The dogs’ disappointment

The dogs on my street bark all day and at night;

Each day brings a repeat; it’s really a blight.


One deputy who came thought he heard a safari;

He drove by the nuisance, wondering, ‘where are we?’


Each dog once had  hoped to have found love unending;

Now all are unwashed, bored, and sad beyond mending.

–Lauren S Bottomly



Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Reflections

Meet Euphemia, called Effie



I thought I would never get over Coolidge, but God’s mercy toward me is far richer than what I could muster toward myself.

Coolidge passed from scant life to death yesterday at 3:45 a.m. As the day, and I with it, wore dully on, I realized that I could not imagine spending the night in our house without a cat. I never had. It simply could not happen.

I went to the websites of a pet rescue organization and the Humane Society. Each had one stand-out cat. The pet rescue group required an interview and home visits, which my husband and I agreed were out of line. A further complication was the fostering hostess’s apparent reluctance to release the cat in her keeping to a series of aspiring adopters.

The potential new light of my life was hosted for the Humane Society at Petco. We went to check her out after dinner. Two wonderful ladies removed the small, sweet 14-month-old dilute tortoise shell kitty from her enclosure to my arms. She was nervous and shy, as Coolidge had been. It was a lock. And it was no hassle. We were treated as competent cat people, instead of as war criminals with animal-torture records as long as Cruella Devill’s nails.

She’s ours. I renamed her Euphemia, meaning “choice words” and “good repute,” for a character in Walter Scott’s The Heart of Midlothian. She purred her first night with us, and restored a sense of sustainability to life.


Filed under Animals

Whoa! Coolidge is eating!

There aren’t a lot of things more horrible than watching a beloved companion starve.

Coolidge pretty much quit eating two days ago. I began giving him sugar water from a syringe. He took it well, but it didn’t get him back to eating his food. This morning I diluted some of his special renal diet soft food with some water and tried to get it into a syringe. The uptake hole was too small to draw much, but what he got in his mouth he took with the same relish as the sugar water.

I dumped the remaining tinned food, along with a fair amount of water, into my Kitchen Aid’s bowl, and used the whipping attachment to make a thin slurry the syringe could draw. I fed Coolidge the slurry and he downed what didn’t dribble down his chin with increasing gusto. Oh God, my cat was never inappetent! He just didn’t have the strength to stand over his bowl and eat!

It’s not an easy maneuver to syringe feed a cat while sitting in a chair, and it’s hard on my back, sitting on the floor with Coolidge in my lap while I draw his life-sustaining food into the syringe and slowly express the slurry into his mouth. His acceptance is my magnificent reward. We knew it was going to be tough terrain along this journey—which was, after all, assigned to us.

Our vet called to check on how Coolidge is doing. We are blessed to have a vet who is so thorough, comprehensive, earnestly interested in Coolidge, and encouraging to work with. I presented some concerns about Coolidge’s ability to stand and walk capably, his receding desire to eat a sustaining amount, and urinary and bowel retentiveness. Our vet thinks these likely indicate a Vitamin-B deficiency. My syringe-habituated hands will give Coolidge a new weekly injection.

Some might consider these things heroic end-of-life measures, but I have come to see that you cannot be your cat’s hero, unless your cat is a hero.


Filed under Action & Being, Animals