Ebony has decided he likes us!

Ebony 2014

Ebony 2014

In the photo above, Ebony is right there below me while I am in my office chair asking to play or for more food. Look at the look, strong, direct…He was helping me practice with my new phonelet (phone and tablet in one).

In the past the cats or dogs that have come into my life, chose me.  So when I went to adopt Sneakers and Ebony at the Seattle Humane Shelter several years ago, I knew that this time I would choose and they would have to go along with that decision.

Sneakers didn’t hesitate, he accepted his two new humans quickly and happily.  It still took awhile to get him not to shy away if I tried to pet him from my full height and he gets uncomfortable when I get on the floor in front of him.  Mostly though he is putting his paw out to get our attention.

Ebony was a different matter.  It took him until now 2014 to finally calm down and not run away from us at a quick second.  He now lets us lean down and pet him without running off.  He still has to control it a little but he is asking for our attention with his little squeak, not just me but my hubby as well.  He even greets hubby at the door when he comes home.   We are so happy that he is finally relaxing and had decided we are okay.  He even licked my bare foot the other day, he just came over before I put my sock on and sniffed and licked it.  He sleeps on the Futon more instead of the bedroom all the time.  He climbs onto the table by the front window and looks out.  He occasionally jumps up on something like a chair rather than always stay on the floor.  He is an awesome cat and has the ability to be even more so and I keep hoping I can unlock that inner kitten…maybe this year??

I have observed that as a cat gets older it changes and usually becomes more confidant, if that is the word to describe it.  So that could also be a part of it for Ebony and Sneakers are now 14 years old.

So if you adopted a cat and it seems that it is just not happening where it is accepting you, just be patient and keep being gentle and loving.  If I have something in my hand, I let Ebony sniff it.  Why that helps I do not know but it seems to calm them. I took to petting Ebony while he was on the Futon when I went to get my slippers. He usually takes off when I approach cuz he knows it is my place to sit.  I also pet him right before I give him his breakfast.  I keep doing little things like that to reassure him it is okay.  Hang in there…!

Waiting for Spring!

Sneakers and Ebony are waiting for Spring.  They are tired of this strange winter.  Sneaker’s checked out the backyard and then told me all about it.

Soaking up the light

Soaking up the light

Sneakers and Ebony would like to encourage you to adopt a pet.  There are so many cats and dogs that need homes.

Try this website Adopt  Pet.com http://www.adoptapet.com/  Click on the tab for either dog or cat and add your zip code and grit your teeth through their email sign up which you can opt out if you like and ad, but eventually you get to the page you want showing animals in your area.  Click for more details and the shelter that has that animal gives more details and links in the description so you can check them out as well.

A Month into 2014!

Sneakers is helping with the laundry

Sneakers helping with the laundry

It is almost a whole month into 2014.  Sneakers is dreaming about Spring.  He goes outside for only a few minutes to sit on the back porch.  I think he is a fair weather cat and even though it is sunny it is chilly out there.  I was weeding in the front yard and left the gate open to the back yard and Sneakers was out but ran back real fast when I caught him.  Oops, I was not being a good human.  The front yard is not safe and he is so naive.

He was whacking his fuzzy ball around last night and scampering around the living room so he is feeling better.  He has had a bit of a cold and was sneezing some. Ebony was even playing a little and ran behind the Futon.

Ebony goes up to his human’s office door and yeowls.  He doesn’t like it closed. So this means a little petting session on the floor.  He tries to get as many of those in before the human bedtime.  He was fussing this morning about 4:20 am so up I got to settle him down.  He is coming out of his shell and getting bolder and bolder.  He has come so far from the scared depressed kitty in the cage at the shelter.  His left eye has been a little wet but he is not sneezing like Sneakers.

Ebony and Sneakers are doing well and enjoying life.

Celebration: Four Years with Sneakers & Ebony

Ebony & Sneakers by the front window

Ebony & Sneakers by the front window

Yes, it is that time again, November 21st.  Four years ago we adopted Ebony & Sneakers from the Seattle Humane Society — Ebony and Sneakers.  They were not in great shape with Ebony having Giardia.  They had been at the Humane Society for 4 months.  Both needed to learn to trust us and it has taken a long time with Sneakers being the bolder one.  Ebony was depressed and it took a long time to get him to even like catnip.  

Now…

Sneakers has his tail in the air and up 98% of the time.  It is down only when he hears thunder. He is doing well although he refuses to eat the kidney prescription diet so I am trying for cat food that is low in phosphorous.   I am also changing from the regular cat food Friskies Mixed Grill and trying other canned foods.  I am mixing it up.  So far they has rejected Wellness and EVO canned foods.

The point is to get him to eat the food. If you have a cat with kidney issues go here and be prepared to read: Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease  http://www.felinecrf.org/  She has a list of foods and their phosphorous levels and other ingredients.  It takes awhile to get use to the site, so go slow and take your time.  It is packed with information.

Ebony just went to the vet last Saturday and he is doing great.  He has a cyst on the right side of his neck and it was small last year and started to grow.  The vet treated it and removed the fluid and he is okay — no cancer.

So we have several options in dealing with this cyst:

1) Just check the cyst on occasion and keep and eye on it,

2) Take him in if the cyst gets too big and bothers him.  There is evidence that he has scratched it and caused scabbing.

3) Have it surgically removed.  It is a day surgery resulting in stitches that means we have to bring him back, followed by antibiotics for a day or two.

We are going with option one and two if needed.

The vet called last Monday and Ebony’s senior blood panel looked good but he did have one part elevated.  Sorry but I don’t remember the exact name of the blood reading.  It is associated with either parasites in his intestines or allergies.  I opt for allergies.  I have stopped giving him cat food with fish in it but that is very hard because the companies really like using it as an ingredient.  I was just looking at Wysong Chicken and fish was the second ingredient.  It is supposed to be low phosphorus although Ebony does not have kidney problems.  It is just easier to feed both the same foods.

Meanwhile, I had to pick up this medicine for Ebony and give it to him for 3 days (Pancour Suspension).  It comes in a plastic bottle about six inches tall with 6 six-inch syringes in it (3.5ml).   I give him the medicine for 3 days and then wait for three weeks and give him three more doses.  Sigh!  This photo is a little fuzzy but it gives you the idea of what I am dealing with.

Meds for Ebony

Meds for Ebony

Ebony is not easy, he is very skittish.  The last time we took him to the vet it took us a good 45 minutes to corral him and get him into the cat carrier.  All of us were not happy.

This time I was more confident for I had been picking him up and cuddling him in our morning petting sessions and he was okay with it.  I would lift him onto my knees and hold him close loving him.  A hug if you will and just for a minute and then release him.

I have been getting him use to me petting him in the morning when he is on the Futon and he doesn’t get up and run away.  This time I did my greeting with my fingers and let him sniff me and then I gently picked him up and made it to the kitchen were hubby was waiting to close the door if I didn’t get him into the cat carrier. I WAS AWESOME!  In he went into the carrier and I had the secured in seconds.  DONE! It was one of the better take Ebony to the vet sessions yet.  HA! YIPPEE!

He hollered the whole way to the vet.  He was pretty intimidated in the exam room but he was okay.  They were able to do all they needed to and returned him quickly.  We were back home within an hour and he was a little skittish for a while but about 2-3 hours later he was asking me for food and wanting attention.  So this visit to the vet went very well.

I have been trying to put the medicine into his food and it is requiring that I really watch him eat and monitor him carefully.  It is a lot of medicine and this is not the best way but trying to hold him and give it to him in his mouth is also not a great way either.  It might traumatized him and us and we actually might lose all the ground of trust we have built.

So here we are 4 years later.  Remember they are 14 years old.

The most important part is that they are happy cats.  Sneakers plays  with the loopy toy and whacks his fuzzy balls around.  He scampers through the living room on occasion. His tail is up at least 98% of the time except when there is thunder. At the moment he is sitting on my left on the desk platform drawer and his paw comes up and reaches out.  I can reach over and pet him and he squeaks.  We have this plastic roller cart with a step stool and he can climb up and lay on it near me while I work on the computer at my desk. He isn’t Minx who would actually sit on the desk within inches of me and whack me really hard with her paw.  Sneakers paw is a lot gentler and he is so patient waiting for me to pay attention to him.

They were piled on top of me the other night on the Futon and cuddled close.  This time Ebony curled up in front of me as I lay on my side and that is good because he is heavy about 15+ lbs. Second main human was talking and that usually triggers Ebony to run but he stayed put. Hopefully he is learning that our talking is not a bad thing??

Ebony was being very curious last night and was whacking a piece of straw that came down from some Halloween decorations I had.  We usually don’t see him play like that. Cool!

Sneakers keeps finding intruders in the backyard a couple of cats I don’t recognize but not serious confrontations.  He hears me say no and actually stops and looks at the stranger cat. Now if it was Puffer the stranger cat would be in BIG Trouble!  They usually run off so we are good.  It amazes me how fast Sneakers knows that something is not right.  I barely get the backdoor open and he is on alert in less than a second.

So life for Sneakers and Ebony has its challenges but on the whole things are going well.

All Hallows’ Eve – Be Kind to Black Cats!

Pumpkins for sale

Pumpkins for sale

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.” 

The above is a little of the page from this link: http://www.halloweenhistory.org/

or try this article to learn more about this tradition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

After you read these articles you will realize that the black cat thing – bad luck – is really not part of the original celebration.  Try this one about black cats and how they got a bad rap:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_cat

Very nicely done: http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Halloween/Monsters/Halloween-BlackCats.html

There is a Facebook page that celebrates black cats and other cats.  I have found it to be funny and sad.  I was not aware that black cats are less likely to be adopted.  Ebony is not happy about that.  Here is the link.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-Love-of-Black-Cats-Black-Cat-Appreciation-Page/186841014709029

I suppose I am a little odd for I have always wanted a black cat. I specialized in three gray tabbies.  I am now blessed with a sweet and gentle creature named Ebony.  I am very glad that we brought him home in 2009.  He is very much a part of our family.  Black fur has nothing to do with anything.

Still have a very Happy and Safe Halloween.

Ebony approves this message!paw-print-clip-art-trail01-large

Stolen Pets!

A letter came in the mail the other day.  Another charity that needs money to help their cause.  I wish I could give to them all but it is hard to find extra money.

This letter was from “Last Chance for Animals,” and it has very heart wrenching stories about the use of dogs in research and the poor care they are given.  I wonder if it is true and remind you that you can check on a charity at Charity Navigator. http://www.charitynavigator.org/

I would also check out their website: www.LCAnimal.org

Xmark gives an overview of this organization and  other organizations and more: http://www.xmarks.com/site/www.lcanimal.org/

What caught my eye was the LCA’s Pet Protection Card.  You see signs in the neighborhood of missing animals.  Many years ago a tv show’s theme was the disappearance of this woman’s little dog and it turned out it was about people who prompt animal dog fighting.  I have seen other tv shows with a similar theme.  It is always sad.

The card reads:

1.  Don’t leave your dog or cat unattended in your yard or in your car.

2.  Don’t leave your pet unattended while you go inside a store or restaurant.

3. Make sure your pet has identification.  Microchips and tattoos are recommended.

4.  Don’t put an ad in the newspaper “FREE TO GOOD HOME,” it could have very bad results.

5.  Do keep photos and written descriptions of your pets on hand at all times.

6.  Do educate your family, friends and neighbors about pet theft.

Go here for more information:  www.stolenpets.com

Now this Last Chance for Animals is based out of Los Angeles, so I did a little searching to see what might be in my home State of Washington.  The following came up.

I can’t find out where they are based on their website but it looks like a good option:

PetAmberAlert.com Animal Missing Broadcast Emergency Response Alert

www.petamberalert.com 

PAWS is an animal shelter and more facility in Lynnwood and Seattle, WA. They also have a list you can review for ideas on how to protect your pet.

http://www.paws.org/pet-theft.html

If you do think your pet has been stolen, TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION.

1.  File a report with the police, sheriff and or animal control.

2.  Make fliers and post them around with your 24 hour contact number.  They suggest putting information in the flyer about your animal needing medical attention to increase response from neighbors and deter others.

3.  Leave flyers at local shelters, local pet stores, post offices, veterinary offices, dog parks etc.

4.  Monitor the pet adoption ads in newspapers or online checking to see if the description matches your pet.  Someone could be trying to sell it.

5.  Walk around the neighborhood and call your pet’s name especially in evening hours.

6.  If you find your pet do not approach but contact law enforcement or animal control.  Don’t spook the person.

7.  Don’t give up, continue to post flyers, monitor websites, check ads and keep walking the neighborhood. 

Over the last year, my husband and I, have rescued two animals.  A very old dog we saw wandering our neighborhood.  A lovely cat on a very busy street.  Both owners were well, one was old herself and the other was young and indifferent although they did acknowledge the animal.

Critter late 1970's

Critter late 1970′s

Many years ago my cat Critter disappeared.  I called his name, told the animal shelter, post flyers, walked the neighborhood.  Back then in the 70′s we did not have the internet.  I was leaving for work and I heard a noise at the door.  He was back.  It was exactly two weeks.  Someone had locked him in their garage before they left on a trip or something and he couldn’t get out.  He was okay. He had lost weight and his license tag.  He also had nightmares for a while after that but he was OK!

Sneakers and Ebony are mostly indoor cats and I keep a close eye out on them for they are so naive about the outdoors.  They do have microchips.  They don’t have collars with their tags on them.  Sigh, probably not a good thing.

Ebony and Sneakers approve this message.