Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Kittens!

Welcome to your forever home, Heimdall and Freya!!!

We are proud to announce the arrival of our two newest family members!  These two littermates are 2 1/2 weeks old, born on (approximately) March 24, 2010.  Heimdall is a little boykit, named after the Norse god who is the gatekeeper to the Rainbow Bridge.  Freya is a little girlkit, named after the Norse goddess of love, beauty, wisdom, and the leader of the Valkyries (warrior maidens who ferried the souls of the dead), whose sacred symbol is the cat.

Our family was looking for one, possibly two, kittens to adopt, before Skylar got so sick.  Then, we all got too busy taking care of him, and our purrents thought it would be too much strain on the household to have kittens during that time as well.  So, they asked Skylar if, when he crossed to the Bridge, he would pick out a kitten to send to our family.

On Sunday, Mommy was looking at Petfinder.com at kittens in our area.  She and Daddy already knew they wanted a tuxedo kitten, in memory of Skylar, and probably a boykit would fit best with our family.  She narrowed down the choices, then saw the picture below:

Doesn't he look sooooo much like Skylar???  She just knew this was the kitten that we were supposed to adopt!  She told Daddy to look at the picture, and he agreed.  He looked at the other kittens at the shelter, and saw the following one:
Guess what???  She is the other kitten's littermate sister!  Just like Skylar and Lydia were littermate brother and sister!  Mommy and Daddy went down to Salem, OR, on Monday (the next day) to meet them.  The shelter is named Salem Friends of Felines, and we highly recommend it to everyone.  The kittens were in one room, free to play and jump, and the adult cats were in another room, also free to go wherever they wanted in their room.  The only ones who had cages were the sick ones or others needing veterinary care (one was recovering from a leg amputation).

Our purrents gave them their new names on the way home, and Freya proceeded to lick Mommy's hands through the carrier door.  Heimdall wanted in on the attention, too, so he pressed up against the door to get petted.  This, of course, started a wrestling match in the carrier!

When they got home, we all came out to investigate the new beings who were going to live with us.  Even Carbon likes them, and he usually doesn't consider kittens to be cats until they pass a year old!
Of course, Carbon also though the carrier was interesting!
Heimdall on the left and Freya on the right
Little kittens, big hallway!
video

Friday, July 23, 2010

Journey to the Rainbow Bridge

Skylar with Mommy Erin, at the vet
Skylar with Mom, at the vet
This morning, I woke up on the bed curled up with Dad, Mom, and Starla.  Rori was at the foot of the bed, too.  I woke Mom and Dad up when the alarm went off, and Mom fed me TUNA!  She and Dad got ready, while I lay by the water bowls in the dining room, exchanging sniffs with Carbon, Tabby, and Little Bit.

Then, Dad went out to the truck, and I got up to follow him.  Mom said to wait, so I lay back down while she put my harness and leash on.  She went to wash her hands, because I had jumped in the tub while she was getting ready so I had water all over my tummy.  I got up to follow her, but Carbon bit my leash and pinned me!  I lay down under the table instead, then Little Bit pinned me by my leash, too!

Mom picked me up, petted everyone, and we went out the door.  When we got in the truck, I walked over to sit on Dad's lap so I could look out the window, like I usually do.  They said we were going to pick up Mommy Erin.  Why?  I looked right at them when they said Mommy Erin's name, knowing who she was (which I sometimes forgot, but I was forgetting a lot of things recently).

When Mommy Erin got in the truck, Mom sat in the back so I could sit with Erin, but I kept switching between her and Dad.  Then, we turned onto the street where my doctor is, and I knew that's where we were going!  I went over to sit in Erin's lap, looking out the window, until we got there, then I looked straight through the windshield at the doctor's office!

We all got out of the car, and I wanted to walk.  Nope, Mom insisted on carrying me.  In we went, straight into a room.  We were only there a few minutes before they switched rooms on us because another patient was coming in who needed an isolation room.  No one minded, because no one cared which room we were in.  The vet tech came in with paperwork, which Mom signed, and Mom and Mommy Erin took pictures of me.  Finally they put me down so I could rest!  I lay on the floor, purring.  I knew somehow, the doctor was going to do something for my pain and make me feel better.  The doctor always helps me; I love my Dr. Bob and Dr. C.!

Dr. C. came in, and she DID give me something for my pain!  She gave me a shot that made me VERY sleepy!  I didn't want to go to sleep, but Mom and Mommy Erin said it was ok.  Dad was sitting in the chair, and he said it was ok to go to sleep, too.  Mom and Erin petted me until I fell asleep, then Dad came over and petted me, saying his goodbyes to me, and kissed me.  He went out of the room, but at that point I wasn't in a position to follow him.

Mommy Erin picked me up, and my tongue stuck out of my mouth!  I wiggled it, but I was too sleepy to put it back in!  Dr. C. said that might happen, and it was normal for sedated cats.  What Mom and Erin didn't expect, though, was to hear me PURRRRRRR!!!!!  I was soooo sleepy, but I wasn't in pain anymore, and I was happy, they were holding me and petting me, and I was comfortable, more comfortable than I've been in years!

Dr. C. came in and made pawprints for Mom and Mommy Erin.  She shaved parts of my fur off my leg and over my heart, and gave the fur to them as well.  Then, she tried to give me the other shot.  She couldn't find my blood vessel in my rear leg!  She said I have "old man veins"!  Hmm...I don't think that was meant as a compliment!  She used a vein in my front leg, which she could see after shaving some more of my thick fur, but not all the shot would go in.  Enough of it went, though.

My heartbeat slowed, breathing slowed, then everything stopped.

I was floating, looking down on everyone as my body was wrapped in blue surgical sheeting and given to Mom.  Mom and Dad drove Mommy Erin home, then drove home and let the other cats sniff my body.  Dad brought Starla out of the bedroom to sniff, too.  Then they buried my body in the backyard right next to Spooky's body.

I floated higher, then saw my sister Lydia coming toward me!  Lydi!  We greeted each other, purring together.  Then, I saw both our little Spooky and our foster Spooky/Nyx, Sara Kitty, Squishy, and all the other angels waiting for me.  All my angel Catster friends were there, too, gathered underneath Calvin's sign!

I asked if I could visit my family from time to time, and everyone said I could.  I know they are really going to miss me, and I'm going to miss them, but I know they did the best thing for me.  They took all my pain away, and that's the best gift anyone can give.  I love you!

A video and a yowl from Skylar

video
Sorry it's so dark!  Mom's giving me chin scritches and telling me how much everyone loves me.

video

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It will be Friday

Skylar writes:

I'm in the bedroom, resting on the bed with Rori and Starla, so I'll let Mom type this.  My appointment's set for Friday morning at 9:40 am.  Everyone at the vet's is sad, too, because I'm a favorite patient there.  None of their other client families have cats who come in on leash and are well-behaved in the waiting room like I am!  Imagine that!

Dad can't get the day off, but he has the morning off at least.  Mommy Erin is trying to get a sitter for JJ so that she can be there, too, to say goodbye to me.

Thanks, everyone, for your prayers, purrs, rosettes, treats, special gifts, p-mails, notes, etc.  Hugs to everyone from all of us!!!

Sad purrs,

Skylar.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Going to the Bridge sometime this week or next. :'(

Hi friends,

Yes, I'm still hanging out in the bathtub a lot.  We have some very sad news.  I'm going to be making my journey to the Bridge sometime either this week or next.  I've been vomiting tar-like liquid, plus my other symptoms (see my diary entry from a couple days ago).  Not good, so Mom and Dad talked with Dr. Bob today and he confirmed that it's my time to leave.  My purrents are scheduling it so that Dad has the day off from work and so that my other mommy, Mommy Erin, can be with me as well when I make my final journey.  We will let you all know when we schedule it.

Sad purrs,

Skylar.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fading

Skylar says:

Tonight, I let Mom "speak" with me, commune with my inner self. I don't know how humans explain it, but it's how we cats talk with each other. Mom can do it, and Dad can, too, but not often, just under the right circumstances. Everything has to be calm.

I'm aching. All my joints are hurting. Mom says it's something called arthritis. It hurts to move, hurts to lie down. My vision is a bit blurry, too, and Dad had to clean my eye twice today because of mucous. That's from a "kitty cold", mostly.

I'm hungry a lot. I get my wet food twice a day, but I used to "graze" instead, eating small bites throughout the day. It's tough to get used to eating only twice, so I'm hungry during the middle of the day and let my parents know it. When it's food time, I run down the hallway to Tabby & Carbon's room (aka the spare room), starting up my yowl as soon as I hit the doorway, and stand on my plate so that Mom has to move me to put my food on it. Then, I eat my fill and curl up on the chair in that room, yowling once to let everyone know I'm done for the moment. Then, Mom lets everyone else in to get a treat of what I've left on the plate.

I seldom snuggle with my parents anymore, but did this evening with Mom, to let her know what's going on with me. I was shaky as I stood on her, looking her in the eyes. Then, with effort, I lay down, wanting my chin scritched while she went over my body to "see" how I was doing. I'm still not putting on any weight, and my fur's still matting. She brushes me with the slicker brush, and that gets a major part of the mats, but not everything and I hate being brushed. My bones are rubbing my skin in some places, like my shoulders and my heels. Massages aren't really helping.

My favorite places are the bathtub and the kitty tent. I've given up sleeping in my recliner, preferring to curl up in one of my two chosen places instead. Dad has to lift me out of the bathtub when he comes home from work, or else I'd stay in there until he turned the water on for his shower. I get out when it's Mom's turn for a shower, though, for some reason. I'm using the box normally, and drinking water normally.

I told Mom tonight that I'm not quite ready to leave even though I'm hurting and confused, and she said that all I have to do is tell them when I can't stand it anymore and they'll release me. My kitty nieces and nephew aren't ready yet, so I'm going to stay around until they can handle the transition. I can tell Mom and Dad will never be quite ready to let me go, but they will do what's best for me. Rori knows what's going on, knows I'm close to leaving, and has been watching from a distance rather than her usual headbutting-following-me-around behavior. Death always troubles her, and she hides from it and then picks up the pieces. That's why my sister chose her to be Big Kitty of the Household. She came and sat with us on the couch tonight as I was talking with Mom, just sat, watching and listening, then walked over and rubbed against me telling me that she understands. Then she let Mom pet her, too.

We don't know how long it's going to be. No one ever knows.

Mom says that she talked with the vet about a week and a half ago, when she ordered my fluids (which I've been taking every two days). Dr. Bob now thinks I may have cancer, since my behavior's changed so abruptly. Nothing in my behavior seems to correlate with kidneys or hyper-T, in fact some of it counterindicates. So cancer is their next guess. If it is, then it's in a place where it's not showing up yet and not a mass, maybe in the bone marrow. That's what Dr. Bob said, and Mom and Dad think that's most likely, too. That's what they've been thinking for a while, and sensing from me as well.

We just don't know anything for sure, but who ever does?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Gotcha Days to Us!!!!!

Can you believe Tabby and Carbon were ever that small???  Here they are when they first came to live with us, five years ago!
Carbon sleeping in the kitty stroller, one of his favorite places to take a nap
Tabby taking a walk at the Doggie Dash, wearing her cooling collar

Saturday, July 10, 2010

PhotoHunt: Free

Free, and loving it!
Tuxedo is our feral friend, shown here hunting mice in our backyard.

Photo Friday: Summer Fun

Last year's fireworks show at Long Beach, WA, USA, was wonderful!
We didn't get to go this year, but hopefully will next year again.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Therapy Cat Tales from two weeks ago

Tabby writes:

A couple weeks ago, Mommy said we were going to a different place to visit.  I wasn't too sure about that, because I love my friends at H., but Mommy said we were going to the new place AND to H., just on different weeks.  That's fine with me!

I didn't really want to leave the house (but I never want to leave anywhere:  home, H., Mommy's work, etc.) so that wasn't a real surprise.  The surprise was that it took a lot longer to get to the new place than it does to get to H.  It's in a different town than we live in, and a different one than H. is in, too!  We had to take three buses to get there.  The cars downtown scared me, so I curled up in my stroller while Mommy petted me.  Then a nice lady came to sit by us, so I poked my head out and said hi to her, while she petted me and talked to me.

The lady we were going to visit, E., had been told we were coming but had never met us before.  Her granddaughter had contacted us to ask if we could visit E.  What a nice person, to do that for her grandmother!  E.'s son made the arrangements with the facility, then told us their schedule.

After we got off the last bus, Mommy said we had to walk a long way on a road.  Wait a minute; don't most roads have sidewalks?  This one didn't!  It was sunny and shady at the same time, and smelled funny.  I sat up straight in the stroller with my nose high in the air, looking around then looking up at Mommy, then looking around and sniffing deeply again.  Mommy said we were in something called a "forest" or "woods".  I know what wood is, that's what goes in the fireplace and what the bookshelf is made out of.  So this is where it comes from?  I wanted to get out and explore, but I couldn't because we were walking along a "highway".  Why is it called "high" when it's on the ground?  It must be a back road, because there were almost no cars.  No, Mommy said it really is a highway, but there was construction so it wasn't as busy.  There were bike lanes, so it was pretty safe for us to stroll, but not for me to get out and explore.

We crossed to the other side and went down a ramp, and finally I was let out to explore.  Dirt, barkdust, and all kinds of smells!  Woweeee!!!!!!!  Oh, do I REALLY have to go down the sidewalk???  Can't I PLEASE stay here in the dirt for a minute more?  Mommy wiped off my paws with a cleaning wipe and put me back into the stroller, leaving the mesh open so I could ride and see everything more clearly.

The lady at the front desk was so excited to see me!  She has cats at home, and knew just how to scritch my back.  I even rolled over to let her pet my tummy.  She thought we were there to meet the person who coordinates the therapy dog visits, but then was just as happy that we had been contacted to visit E.  Turns out the person in charge of visits is allergic to cats, so we can't visit everyone at that facility, but we saw a few people in the halls as we walked.  That was just fine with everyone!

E. was absolutely THRILLED to have a cat come see her!  We stayed for about 45 minutes, although I wanted to walk down the hallway to explore the next couple rooms.  I kept looking out the door and tugging on my leash.  Hey, it was a new place and I wanted to see who else was there!  E. was very nice, and I could tell she was a kitty person right from the start.  She wanted to hold me, and I curled up on her lap for a few minutes while she petted me and talked to me.  I looked right up at her, listening to everything she was saying.  After a couple minutes, I jumped down again and explored her room with Mommy at the other end of the leash.  Then, it was back to going between E., Mommy, and looking out the door while E. and Mommy talked.

All of a sudden, there was a beeeeep!  I didn't like it, and tried hiding under a chair.  Mommy said our goodbyes (for me as well, since I was scared of that beep) and we left the room.  The beep was some kind of signal to the nurses, and was coming from a room farther down the hallway.  We got away from it fast, then found a nice lady in a wheelchair in the hallway.  She and two other ladies (the others worked there in various jobs) wanted a demonstration of me walking on my leash, and I happily obliged by jumping out of the stroller and promptly walking into the tub room!  It was interesting, but I wasn't allowed to be in there so I got turned around towards the hallway again.  One of the ladies joked that she could give me a bath if I wanted!  Um...no thanks, Mommy gives me those.

We made our way back out to the reception area, where I was mobbed again by five people and a little girl.  It was kind of overwhelming, but I did great with it.  They wanted me to walk on my leash, come over to them, roll over for tummy rubs, and ask for pets:  all my favorite things!  :)  >^..^<

Then, back through the forest, stopping at a store to get some icewater.  I didn't drink any, but Mommy put some on my ears and the back of my neck to cool me down.  That helped a lot.  It was supposed to have been in the mid-70's, but had gotten almost to 80.  On our future visits this summer, like the one tomorrow, I will have my cooling collar.

We're going to alternate weeks visiting E. and going to H.  This week it's H., next week we will see E. again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!!!

Thank you to our "Auntie" Janeen for our pawsome pictures!!!  We hope everyfurry has a safe 4th and doesn't get too scared of the big booms & pops.  Stay inside and away from those funny lights & flames!

Rori
Skylar
Tabby
Starla

(and Carbon was camera-shy)

PhotoHunt: Open

Skylar eating out of the open cat food storage!

Photo Friday: Bloom

Yes, we know it's Sunday instead of Friday, but we're posting late this weekend.  Anyway, enjoy!  These roses are from my grandparents' backyard, picked and arranged by my uncle for my dad's birthday.  :)

Photo Friday