Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Annie has made me very happy this last day of the year. Today for the first time since her surgery she spent two hours without the Elizabethan Collar; two hours without attempting to rub her eye. All previous attempts to doff the collar lasted a grand total of ten minutes or however long it takes to consume a meal.

Not very promising and that's why the length of time today was unprecedented. I removed the collar for breakfast then left it off while Annie sat with me before settling down for her late morning nap. My desire was to keep that collar off longer but not wanting to tempt fate I put it on again as I started my preparations for tonight.

You bet I'm grateful she's made significant progress. Tonight I'll remove it again for however long Annie stays with us. My goal is to have her E Collar-free when we keep our next Ophthalmologist appointment. A very Happy New Year to all, drink responsibly, drive safely and keep your furry family members out of harm's way.

First time without her protective collar.

Sleeping like a little angel.

Monday, December 30, 2013


This is one year I'm ready to put behind me. 2013 is going out in a flurry of paperwork. I've been sorting through Annie and Orphée's medical paperwork, putting everything in order, totaling expenses and getting rid of estimates, duplicate bills and care instructions. Next month I will post about medical expenses and other care costs for furry family members.

Bills and other expenses for all our family members are pretty much on my mind and I'm compiling our expenditures for the year with an eye towards getting a better handle on our spending in 2014. It's not all doom and gloom, we are getting ready to celebrate! A new year, what better time to look ahead with a renewed sense of hope and trust in a 2014 filled with less stress, better health, good times and good fortune for our family and friends.

There's nothing like waiting to the last minute to plan two holiday meals but when you're two humans, a canine and a feline you can pretty much do it on the cuff. Most likely I'll make a small buffet for Artie and me. We have our Asti already chilling for our New Year's toast. I'll make a large salad and a plate full of sausage, different cheeses and crackers. We might get a sushi platter or I'll steam salmon with rice and vegetables.  Our biggest decision will be dessert - do we get pie, cake or just have fruit. Of course, there will be chocolates and a choice of coffee, tea or hot cocoa.

And now to firm up the menu, I want to enjoy myself as we ring out the old year and ring in the new!

In the planning stages!
image from Webweaver

Saturday, December 28, 2013


As that old song title asks I know we will do nothing more than have a quiet family meal with some good conversation while enjoying each others' company. For me work is never done. Before the Eve I need to get a few things in to make our quiet end-of-the-year happen.

Meanwhile the furry members of this family are taking advantage of resting up from our Christmas celebration. Annie in particular is catching up on her beauty sleep. Here are a few photos:

Always such a good girl (when she sleeps).

I think I'll stay abed a while longer.

Catching some zzzs in a lounging position.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Last week the news carried a story about a blind man named Cecil Williams who became faint while waiting for a Manhattan subway train. He fell to the tracks and his guide dog, a black lab named Orlando, jumped to the rescue. While Orlando tried to assist his owner, people on the platform signaled the motorman who stopped the train but could not prevent the first car and a half from going over the duo.

In a true Christmas season miracle both survived their harrowing ordeal. Mr. Williams was hospitalized with a cut on the head; Orlando was untouched. After 8 years as companions-in-life Orlando who is 11 years old was slated to retire this month. The two would have to part because Mr. Williams could not afford to keep Orlando as a non-working pet.

Can one miracle beget another? Definitely! A good Samaritan started a fundraising page and more than enough money was donated to allow Orlando to remain with Cecil Williams.

A wonderful Christmas story.

2 buddies sharing quality time. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas 2013 is past and the entire family is resting up in preparation for our New Year's celebration. Here's the newest family member taking advantage of the recliner:

Reclining peacefully where else but in the recliner.

What, move? You're not getting this spot.

A nice closeup.
Now for a catnap.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


We awoke to a cold but clear Christmas Eve and a flurry of activity as I hurried to keep our appointment with Annie's Ophthalmologist. First I fed Orphée then Annie, dispensed pills and eye drops then left for VERG. While in transit, I realized everyone ate but me!

Arriving early (a rarity) Cassie took us immediately without even a slight wait. We discussed pills, eye drops, how Annie was coming along before the doctor arrived to conduct his examination. Dr. Harrington was pleased to hear Annie is no longer blinking, squinting or trying to rub her eye on everything and anything. Her eye pressure is normal, no evidence of inflammation, surgery is healing nicely and the two shots from last week cleared up more than 90% of the webbing in her eye.

I was pleased with a reduction of medications and relieved that we can push out the next follow-up visit to three weeks from today. This round of anti-inflammatory pills will finish in four days at which time I will begin to monitor Annie for any signs of discomfort. The eye drops were reduced as well. Blink was eliminated unless I felt she needed it and the Ofloxacin was eliminated completely. Prednisolone will continue at three times a day and Tropicamide is reduced to twice a day.

Because of Annie's tendency to rub her eye, she must continue to wear her Elizabethan Collar for the next seven to ten days. We can remove it for meals but we must be with her whenever it is off. Annie enjoyed her car rides and I treated her to a short walk when we returned home.

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas Eve - I am thankful for life's little blessings. Christmas Day is more of the same. What a difference from the doom and gloom of last year's holidays with Annie's cancer diagnosis and the uncertainty of her condition. I'm hopeful we will have a healthy 2014.

Merry Christmas to all!
Clipart courtesy of Webweaver

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Living in Brooklyn can be pretty tough at times but Brooklynites have a history of helping each other out. Such is the case in Red Hook where every year the Amendola sisters display a nativity scene in an empty lot they own.

The crèche is occupied in off-months by a colony of feral cats the sisters care for year round. So is it any wonder the cats will not vacate the crèche during the Christmas season. A light for illumination and a bale of straw inside the crèche offer a perfect opportunity for warmth and comfort from the winter elements - all this and dinner delivered on a regular schedule by two landlords who won't evict for unpaid rent. And plenty of entertainment for neighbors who delight in this feline takeover of Christmas.

Christmas Eve in Red Hook will once again find the Baby Jesus relinquishing his manger to a colony of cats.

The New York Post put a similar photo of the crèche on their front page entitling the tableau 'A Stray in a Manger.' In Brooklyn everyone is looking for a good piece of prime real estate to call home. This group of cats has found theirs.

Photo credit: DNAinfo/Rafael Lopez, Jr.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Artie wanted a couple of photos of Orphée and I wanted at least one with some Christmas spirit for his first real Christmas with us. He spent last Christmas living in our front hall as he went through the process of deworming, getting acclimated to living inside and feeling comfortable with us.

As they say, you've come a long way Baby. Artie's friend Kasha sent me a Christmas bracelet of shiny beads and bells  which I decided needed to be photographed.  Thanks Kasha the bracelet is beautiful!

The bracelet from Kasha.

Orphée good-naturedly puts up with my silliness.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Christmas is days away.  With all the preparations for this season we need to be mindful of the safety of our furry family members.  Last year's post says it all.

Enjoy your family, friends and pets.  Make this Christmas a safe one for all and a happy one.

Merry Christmas
Clipart courtesy of Webweaver's Free Clipart:

Saturday, December 21, 2013


It's been a pretty intense few days since our follow-up Doctor visit. Annie is doing great! The squinting and blinking have stopped completely. Her eye looks clear. She's holding still for her eye drops and I'm getting more proficient in administering them so more medicine is going into the eye.

Mary Poppins sang 'a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down' but in this case it's more like a dollop of cream cheese with an occasional switch to cheddar. Annie continues to take her anti-inflammatory pills squished inside a small cream cheese ball. We've settled into a routine so all of this is going quite smoothly to my great relief.

I'm confident our Christmas Eve visit will bring even better news and our little family will settle in for a truly Merry Christmas.

Doing what I do best - hog Mom's bed!

A perfect little angel - when she sleeps.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Today was our follow-up visit after the Nor'easter emergency. Annie was so excited to see Cassie, the vet tech and the doctor. We reviewed what happened to prompt us to head to emergency then the doctor gave her a thorough examination.

Annie's condition was assessed as follows:
Her overall condition is good and her eye is healing nicely however she is experiencing more irritation than expected at this time.  Some inflammatory debris can be seen around her lens implant. 

Treatment plan:
Two injections were administered. One under her conjunctiva to ease her inflammation and one directly into the eye to dissolve the inflammatory debris with a Tuesday Christmas Eve follow-up to determine her progress provided she shows improvement during the intervening week.

After the excitement of two car rides, a walk, visiting her friends at VERG, seeing new sights and smelling new smells Annie is blissfully asleep on my bed. I'm tired but before I can collapse dinner must be served the furry family members, Annie's pill must be administered and her eye drops put in.

No rest for the weary...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


My 6 AM alarm rang I glanced out the window and surprise! The beginnings of a new snow blanketed outside. As the sole custodian shepherding Annie on her trip to the eye doctor I decided to reschedule the appointment.

Annie loves snow.  Snow triggers excitement, playfulness and a general exuberant nuttiness I cannot handle on my own.  Tomorrow we will make our trek to determine if Annie's eye is fine.

Monday, December 16, 2013


When I let Annie out this morning to take care of business I found the broken fragment of plastic from her Elizabethan Collar in a pile of snow on the back porch.

The chunk fit perfectly into the space in the collar. It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Whatever she did that bothered her eye we now know she did outside. 

Tomorrow we will know if her eye is OK provided the snow that's predicted doesn't force us to cancel her appointment.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Today I only have a few minutes to scribble an update. Annie did something last night which caused her to break a chunk out of her Elizabethan Collar the size of a silver dollar. We don't know if it happened on the back porch or in the house. Neither of us saw it and we never found the missing piece of plastic but it happened in the excitement of Artie arriving home.

Apparently she either hit or rubbed her eye - the one with the artificial lens. She started squinting, holding the eye shut; there was tearing and redness. In the midst of a Nor'easter, we called for a radio car and headed for emergency. 

With great good fortune, we traveled there and back without incident. No damage to Annie's eye but she's back on her anti-inflammatory for discomfort and I have another appointment this Tuesday to follow-up with her eye doctor.

Today she is the perfect little angel, allowing me to put in eye drops without a fight, taking her meds without a fuss and behaving as she should. Do you think she knows she's 'in the doghouse' for whatever she did last night? I think she does.

It's now time for her second round of eye drops; I'm off to play Florence Nightingale.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


There were a couple of days' rain and snow, outside was slushy, messy and with a dip in temperature, terribly cold. The cats didn't come around until the weather cleared. One by one each showed up in turn checking for food and water.

Artie came home to find Porch Guy checking out the empty food dishes and frozen water bowls. There was that moment of mutual recognition then Porch Guy did something he never did before - he ran up to Artie in a way that communicated he was thankful his pal was here to serve up dinner. He even allowed Artie to touch him.

Dinner was served in due course with a bowl of warmed water to wash the meal down. Will Porch Guy be the next member of our indoor family? Artie and I are talking about bringing him in soon.

Great meal Artie, thanks!

Hangin' out with my best buds.

Who could resist this face?!

Catching some rays on the front doorstep.

Monday, December 9, 2013


With all the chronic pet illness we've been handling the past few years, the veterinary bills are very high. Annie has had 3 major surgeries and repeated urinary tract infections. Buddy had renal failure for 2 years 9 months making him one of the few that had such a long run with this disease. Orphée is very healthy but he is FIV+ which puts him at risk with any common ailment necessitating a quick response from us to keep him healthy.

When we were dealing with renal failure, I created a spreadsheet to track doctor visits and all associated costs breaking them into categories of medicine, office visits, procedures, food. What an eye-opener! I recommend the following guidelines to help you get a grip on costs.

If you're out of work or a senior, find a low-cost clinic or a local veterinarian that will work with you. Ask if a pet prescription can be filled at your Pharmacy then do your homework and check prices. In the case of Buddy's IV fluids and other supplies, the price was less at the local drug store than the doctor's office plus I saved travel time and transportation expenses. It was convenient as well - the staff called when the IV supplies where ready to pick up. I walked 2 blocks instead of taking a bus or train because the distance to the veterinarian's office is a tad too far to walk.

For the third time over the years, I'm checking into pet insurance and did finally find a company to accept both my cat and dog. Other companies denied policies because of age and/or chronic conditions; some would only issue insurance to cover accidents which did not meet our needs.

Since veterinary medicine is making great strides costs are going up and the pet medicine practiced today isn't the pet medicine practiced 10 years ago when Annie was a puppy and Buddy a young cat. Getting pet medical insurance should be looked into as soon as you adopt a pet. It will save you money every step of the way.

Finally, read, read and read!!! Learn as much as you can, make yourself an informed consumer on your pets' behalf and their medical advocate. Not only will you improve their quality of life but you will save yourself a 'chunk of change' along the way.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


On the mend since Monday's surgery, Annie has been sleeping most of the time. We had a bit of rain and mist during Friday and early Saturday leaving the front and back porches soggy. 

Sometime Friday, Annie came awake wandering quite reluctantly to the back door, my signal to let her out. Her whole demeanor suggested she'd rather be sleeping but Nature called and she had to answer. Once she was on the porch Annie was totally transformed. Alert and reinvigorated, she wagged her tail, wiggled her butt, danced around, ran back and forth all the while letting out a woof or a bark to let everyone know she was still around.

It was funny to she her come alive changing from a sleepyhead to an energizer bunny. And I was thankful to see her so alert. 

Queen of her domain.

Getting a good view of her yard for the first time with two good eyes.
Surveying everything.

Ahh Mom, do I have to come in?

Saturday, December 7, 2013


It's been another busy weekend full of routine chores, caring for Annie and Orphée. Amid the schedule of meals, treats, pills and eye drops I'm also trying to straighten up the house, do dishes, laundry, cook and tend to the never-ending needs of a family of four (two humans and two pets). Let me tell you it's not easy.

Annie is recovering nicely. Her eye is clear, no more tearing, blinking or squinting which gives me hope we will have a good report from the doctor come Tuesday. In place of a long post I thought I'd take a break from my chores, add a few pictures for everyone to enjoy then get back to work!

The finally asleep Annie.

And the ever curious Orphée.

Friday, December 6, 2013


My friend Fran always sends me interesting pet related articles and this one certainly fits the bill. A same sex couple is divorcing. What's so unusual about that? Absolutely nothing except the only 'bone of contention' is over the family dachshund. 

This case also shows how far we've come as a society because the judge owns a rescued Pit Bull and will treat the dog as a family member instead of property as legal cases have in the past.

All in all the article makes for thought provoking reading. Thanks Fran for passing it along!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


There was nothing unusual to report to the surgeon today when he made the usual customary follow up call to check on his furry patient. Annie is doing better. She's experiencing very little blinking, squinting and tearing. No redness of the eye or anything unusual that I can see. 

She did manage to maneuver the Elizabethan Collar in such a way as to rub her eye once on my pant-leg and once on Artie's. She keeps trying to rub her eye with her paw or on the furniture but can't. And she's being persistent in keeping her eye closed on the eye drops although I must admit she is taking her pills without a battle - cream cheese is her new favored food.

The doctor's assistant suggested brick cream cheese as a good way to administer pills and the cream cheese provided a definite advantage over peanut butter. You can make firm little balls with the pill tucked inside that you can't make with peanut butter. The doctor suggested using bits of cream cheese to make the eye drop routine easier and so far it's working. I'm hoping the cream cheese will cut the amount of time we spend administering eye drops down considerably.

Last night Annie did not want to sleep on the couch and Orphée did not want to sleep on my bed. Finally Artie and I gave up and gave in allowing Orphée back into the living room and Annie back on my bed with the four-legged foot stool from my wing chair serving as a stepladder. A good decision as everyone slept peacefully through the night.

We're settling into a routine of sorts and I hope we stay the course until next Tuesday's checkup.

Sleeping like an angel after giving Mom a devil of a time.


Have you ever wondered what goes on in a cat's head? I have. Orphée's reactions to Annie's absence and her surgery were a bit of a surprise.

I'm sure he was thrilled to have the run of the house when I left with Annie. When he realized I came home without her, he appeared to be a bit subdued and a bit lost which is surprising since he never seeks Annie out for companionship, play or warmth as Buddy did.

When Annie returned home and I finished all my fussing, Orphée realized she was set up to use the couch. After awhile, he decided it was time to stare her down. Usually Annie will give in then move to the recliner but Artie prevented that from happening. Orphée realized his ruse didn't work so he decided to make himself comfortable at the other end of the couch. Later on as Annie lay in a deep sleep, Orphée slowly went up to her to smell her face.

The final surprise came that evening. Orphée beds down for the night every night on the couch. When it became apparent Annie was spending the night in his coveted spot, he ran off to take advantage of hogging my bed where he happily stayed the last two nights - something he never did before.

Cozy together on the couch.

Happy as a pig in mud hogging my bed.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Wednesday, the second day after eye surgery and Annie is resting comfortably on the living room couch. I'm spending my time administering medicines, eye drops and monitoring her overall condition. My concerns: she doesn't want to eat or drink and she's not interested in going on the back porch. Mostly she sleeps. Thankfully she doesn't appear to be in any pain.

She did have two meals yesterday and she had water a few times so I'm concerned but not worried about today's lack of interest in everything. Her eye is tearing but that's normal. The intermittent blinking has all but gone away; it keeps decreasing which is what the doctor and his assistant told us to expect.

All in all, I believe we are having an uneventful recovery.

Sleeping peacefully. The gunk on her eyes is the result of tearing & eye drops.

In both photos you can see Annie's eyelids were shaved.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Annie's home and resting comfortably.  She was surprisingly active when I picked her up around noontime. Just a bit subdued but not by much, she was happy to see me and interested in climbing on chairs, seeing other animals and in sniffing everything in sight.

The task of making sure she has a good recovery is a daunting one. I spent the afternoon getting her settled, making sure she doesn't jump on or off the furniture. We're also avoiding running around and rough play. After she rested awhile I gave her a meal. To get her fed I had to hand feed her a few pieces of turkey then spoon feed her until she found a good angle to eat without the Elizabethan Collar getting in the way.

Then I had to sort out the medicines. Annie's taking two kinds of pills and using four kinds of eye drops. The pills are easy enough to dispense, twice a day with food. The eye drops however are another matter. Two of the eye drops need to be administered four times daily; the third eye drop twice daily and the final eye drop can be administered two or three times daily or up to six times daily if needed. 

I sat down to write up a schedule which I will tweak if necessary to make it more convenient. Next Tuesday she has a follow-up visit to check her progress. In the meantime I'm thrilled to have her home.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Annie's eye surgery was today around noon. She had a mid-morning arrival time for some last minute pretesting which went very well clearing her for surgery.

I was worried but hopeful the surgery would be successful. After leaving my sweetheart with the wonderful staff at VERG I did some necessary shopping then returned home. A mid-afternoon phone call from the surgeon brought good news - the surgery was successful. Annie's cataract was removed and a new lens successfully implanted. The rest of the day and evening will be spent in checking her eye pressure, administering drops, pain medications and antibiotics. Discharge will be sometime after 9 AM Tuesday if recovery is uneventful and on track. As soon as I received the doctor's call I fell into a deep sleep. Only then did I realize just how stressed I had been.

The home seems strange without Annie. Even Orphée seems a bit out of sorts without her here. Artie and I miss her terribly. I can't wait to throw my arms around her, hug her and cuddle her. Tomorrow can't come fast enough.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Lucky and Athena took a break from the festivities to commune with nature on the back deck. Here are the photos from Thanksgiving afternoon.

Athena heading out.

Lucky taking advantage of the sun.

Athena surveying her domain.

Catching a few rays.

Thank you for being a friend...

Friday, November 29, 2013


It's the Friday after Thanksgiving and I still haven't recovered from all the turkey, salad, mashed potatoes, cranberry, cider, the pies and all the noshes.

We spent Thanksgiving Day with our cousins and Aunt. It was time spent in conversation as well as eating and drinking. There was disappointment - Midnight the feral cat did not make an appearance. She's come far in the past year but she's not yet brave enough to venture into a room with people who are guests of her pet parents. Last Thanksgiving she hid from all including her benefactors.

There was delight - Lucky actually sat on Artie's lap and did not smack his hand with her paw for the first time in all the years we know her. Lucky is sixteen now. In years' past she definitely displayed her own brand of cattitude. This year we noticed a distinct mellowing of Lucky's personality. A touch of arthritis in her hind legs has her walking a bit slower with some stiffness. She's more tolerant, actually enjoying cuddling with and getting pets from Artie.

There were even a series of firsts with Athena - she held still for a photo and walked into the family room while we were sitting around talking. She even asked Artie to let her out remembering to hiss at him when he didn't open the door fast enough to suit her. Our day was nothing short of amazing. Upon our return, Annie and Orphée had a great time sniffing the cat smells on our clothes.

Now I'm in a bit of recovery/catch up mode, sated from an excess of turkey and trying desperately to clean up the chores I left undone in order to keep to our holiday travel schedule. The following pictures will introduce everyone to Annie and Orphée's furry cousins.

The Lady Athena allows herself to be photographed.

The adorable Lucky striking a pose.

A more pensive portrait.

Shall we vogue?

Lucky's favorite photo.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


This year Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are celebrated on the same day! I don't recall that ever happening before. Hanukkah brings it's own dos and don'ts for keeping our pets safe. Follow my suggestions for a stress and pet emergency free holiday.

Happy Hanukkah!

Image courtesy of digitalart

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Tomorrow is Turkey Day, a day of celebration to get together with family, friends and enjoy good times, good food and drink. It is also a day to be mindful of your furry family members.  I'm repeating my post from last year outlining how to make the day safe for your pets and less stressful for you.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Just because Orphée's eyes are fine now there's always the possibility we will be going through this again at another point in time. I'm reading up on what to look for in order to catch any issues early with Orphée.

Monday, November 25, 2013


There is a strong possibility Annie's eye issues are genetic. Whatever the reason, pet parents need to be aware of eye diseases and diligent in checking their furry family members' eyes. Like us, our pets only have two and isn't it better to do whatever we can to keep their eyes healthy?

Here are some links to get you up to speed on the three eye issues:

You can see the cataract in the eye on the left of the photo.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Friday night Artie and I had a serious discussion about the pros and cons of the various treatment options for Annie's eye issues. After researching her conditions (uveitis, the cataract and lens subluxation) on the internet then talking extensively about everything we decided the best course of action is surgery.

Should the management with eye drops fail we felt the surgery would be inevitable leaving Annie to go through a more complicated surgery when she's older. As a good surgical candidate now with a good chance of recovery with improved eyesight we are willing to opt for the surgery.

I called VERG to schedule a day and time. A return call earlier today confirmed a December 1st date for pretesting and surgery. Annie will stay overnight for monitoring coming home sometime on the 2nd. Recovery will be even more challenging than her cancer surgery. She has to be kept quiet - no running around, no jumping on and off furniture, drops will have to be administered and there will be weekly follow-up visits for I don't know how long.

Crating her was mentioned - we've never done that before but now we need to talk about it. A ramp or steps will be needed to curtail the jumping and of course I'm grounded indefinitely to dispense medicine and keep a strict watch over her.

Strangely enough I'm more concerned about the aftercare than the surgery. So much is riding on keeping Annie quiet. We will face this like we've faced everything else - with determination to do the best we can.

How am I ever going to keep Annie this quiet for weeks?

Thursday, November 21, 2013


The follow-up ophthalmic visit today went better than I anticipated. The inflammation went away almost completely. Annie is doing well. We have to continue with the eye drops but now Artie and I face a decision. Do we continue to pursue a course of medication to treat Annie's eye issues or because of the subluxation and cataract do we put her through surgery.

The doctor feels she is a good candidate for surgery and that she will have a good outcome. The plan is to remove her lens replacing it with an artificial one and anchoring it into place. This will give her improved vision and prevent discomfort and blindness from the lens moving around or pushing forward through the opening in her eye or back into the vitreous of the eye.

If her medical condition is such that it precludes her having an artificial lens, the cataract-clouded lens will be removed leaving her without a lens. This will make her farsighted in one eye. Finally there is always a chance that certain tests will indicate Annie is not a viable candidate for surgery. The doctor assured us this is very rare and most dogs do fine with the surgery. After such surgery there is an increased chance of retinal detachment and glaucoma but the percentage is minimal and the benefits of the surgery far outweigh the risks. Annie's current condition is controlled sufficiently that surgery is not considered an emergency.

We were told to think this over but Artie and I feel there isn't much to think about. The thought of Annie having repeated inflammation and the chance of the lens moving forward or back or detaching completely creating more problems for our little sweetie really leaves us no choice but to opt for surgery now. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Orphee has settled in. Our home is now his home. With the exception of some unacceptable behavior towards Annie the transition from outside to inside cat has been fun to watch.

The first time I ran the vacuum cleaner, Orphee hid under a piece of furniture for four hours. Now he stays put until I vacuum the room he's in moving to another room, no longer hiding under furniture.

My mother's hope chest is a preferred lounging spot. It gives Orphée a clear view of our neighbor's front porch. Often I hear him talking to one of his former outside buddies as they make their way across the porches. And the hope chest is a great place to catch some rays on a sunny day.

A hot pink mouse hangs from a cord in my living room doorway. Orphée spends some time there every day batting that poor mouse around.  The foot of my bed and a section of my couch are covered by his blankets and he knows he is expected to lie on them when he stays on either place.

The funniest thing he does is come running to the kitchen whenever he hears me moving around in that room. He will sit or lounge in the doorway intently watching whatever I'm doing. Sometimes I'm convinced he's going to ask what's cooking or give me instructions on how to complete whatever I'm working on. When it's time to eat he sits by his bowl patiently waiting for his meal.

The sweetest thing he does is lean up to look at you when you're in the recliner waiting for you to tell him it's OK to jump in your lap then Orphée hops up, circles around and makes himself comfortable.

In a little less than a year's time, Orphée has become so comfortable in his new environment. The most amazing thing about all of this is he doesn't look to go out. He goes to the door, sniffs the air at the base then turns around and walks or runs back inside. I guess that's proof positive he's decided he is an outside cat no longer.

This is the life for me!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Everyday I receive a medical ezine from ArcaMax, a news and entertainment website. The following article appeared in my inbox yesterday and I had to include it here. Thank you to King Features Syndicate Inc. for distributing Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen's articles. Also, thank you to ArcaMax for featuring the good doctors articles daily on their website and through emails.

Be as careful in determining what to give your pets as you are determining what to buy for your human family members.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Porch Guy came around to inspect the new front porch and grab a meal. Artie took two photos of him while he walked around checking out the finished job. He's looking pretty good lately. I hope his good health holds through the winter.

I want so much to take him in but with Annie's new health issues and Orphée's quirks and weight problem I'm not sure if it's a wise move. If he takes up winter residence in one of the two shelters at least he will be safer living on our front porch than wherever he's staying now.

One determined tomcat.

He's not fond of the camera flash.