Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The relationship between Orphee and me is at a standstill. I can't figure him. He seems to become tense when I pet or take care of him; he definitely is more comfortable with Artie.

This concerns me - I do so want to establish a rapport with him outside of being the person who feeds him and cleans his litter box. The other day I was petting him, rubbing his forehead, his face and neck. When I finished I patted him on the head then rubbed under his chin. I've done all of this before but this time Orphee lashed out with lightening speed hitting me on the wrist very hard and leaving me with 3 puncture wounds.

I was surprised; I totally did not see it coming. He didn't meow, hiss or scratch. This was a slap and a hard one with no raking of claws. He didn't even change his expression or move an inch outside of wielding his front paw.

My guess is Orphee is probably more alpha than Buddy. For all his bossy ways Buddy was a gentle soul. Orphee is still living in the front hall. He won't come into my apartment and he generally heads for the stairs whenever he thinks Annie is coming to see him.

Will he ever warm up to me and Annie? Was the meowing, purring, rubbing up against me an Artie a good routine to secure a daily meal? These are questions we need to answer, and only time will tell.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Even though Annie is doing well, I find I'm not ready to post about her surgery. At some point I will but frankly I'm still emotionally flattened by what happened. It upsets me to write even these few sentences. Everyday I look at her and wonder how much longer will I have her with me. For now, Annie is happy and she appears healthy but I'm aware the clock is ticking. I want my sweet girl to be a cancer survivor like Buddy was.

Buddy had an amazing 5 years after his cancer surgery. What will Annie have?

Monday, January 21, 2013


In one of our free newspapers I came across a 3 panel cartoon by The Shelter Pet Project illustrating the plight of a cat turned over to a shelter by an owner who accepted a job overseas. I decided to look up their website just to see what they're all about.

I encourage anyone who is thinking about adopting a cat or a dog to visit The Shelter Pet Project website as part of their search. It's easy - just put in your zip code and you will see pictures of pets at shelters near you along with their vitals and bios.

A great way to start a search and find some furry love...

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Our Orphee's journey, while not as epic a journey to the underworld and back as that of the mythological Orpheus, has been momentous none the less. From a life on the streets to one on our front porch then to our front hall it's been a big adjustment over the past weeks.

Orphee is becoming more and more curious about what's behind my apartment door. A few nights ago, I thought I heard scratching. It was late (around 3 AM) and I was heading off to bed but I stopped to determine where the noise was coming from. Could it be the cat? 

I opened the door and there he was looking up at me. He began to meow - talking incessantly  peeking into the apartment with all the curiosity of (what else?) a cat. Of course, I stepped aside to let him in but Orphee wasn't having any of it. Curious but wary, a surprising combination but I guess that comes from life on the streets. I see none of Buddy's fearlessness in Orphee.

He did venture in twice on his own but deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, beat a hasty retreat at the sight of Annie. And what of Annie?  She loves him, it's as simple as that. Annie will follow me into the hall trotting along happily while I feed him. They've been a few feet apart just staring at each other or more accurately he watching her and she looking at him longingly and crying. As soon as the intestinal parasite issues are resolved Artie and I will take the next step and try getting them together.

Friday, January 18, 2013


The cat has a name! We settled on Orphée, the French pronunciation of Orpheus. The tale of Orpheus, the Greek musician, poet and prophet, going into the underworld to bring his wife back to the living after her death, fascinated French filmmaker Jean Cocteau who turned it into a film starring Jean Marais.

The cat, in his demeanor, expression and looks, resembles The Beast in Cocteau's Beauty and The Beast. Beast was our first choice for a name; our second was Marais but both seemed not to fit. Orphée seemed appropriate for its connection to Jean Marais and Orphée s story of coming back from the underworld. Our furry Orphée bears an uncanny resemblance to Buddy. 

Beauty and The Beast and Orpheus are wonderful films. Both are listed in IMDB.

To see our Orphée's resemblance to The Beast watch both YouTube excerpts from Beauty and The Beast:

Orphée - look at Buddy's picture on his memorial page to see the resemblance.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


It's been a long time since my last post. It was not my intent to allow so much time to lapse between posts. The one-two punch of Annie's surgeries and the cat's FIV+ diagnosis were one medical issue too many to deal with at once. Artie and I both are still in recovery mode; so are Annie and the cat but I believe the furry members of this family are faring better than the human ones.

The cat's bite wound is healing nicely; he has finished his course of antibiotics.  One round of flea medicine needs to be administered in a few weeks. On to the worms, of course, we are dealing with two different kinds. One is handled by a pill but the other required two syringe doses of some yellow medication administered 14 days apart. We did get the first dosage into him over a two-day period by adding it to his meals. Better in the food than to further stress out an FIV+ feline. Next week we administer the second dose.

He didn't like the litter we were using so he wet a couple of rags we gave him to sleep on. He seems to prefer newspaper. For now, we are using old newspapers in the litter box and he's content to use them.

The front hallway where he's been hanging out is starting to lose its appeal. For the first time today, he ventured into my apartment to explore, the sight of Annie sending him scurrying back to the hallway and the perceived safety of the hallway stairs.

Annie is slowly recovering. Her ongoing health crisis will take a few posts and I will be documenting her story in the coming days.

Friday, January 4, 2013


2013 is the year that came in like a lion with health crises for Annie with her diagnosis of a soft tissue sarcoma and the cat with his diagnosis of FIV+.

A blog functions as an online journal but I must admit emotionally I could not post each day while Annie's health crisis was enfolding. To do so would only increase my anguish; I found it hard to come to terms with what was happening to her.

This morning, Annie underwent her second surgery. A call from the surgeon confirmed she came through it and was recovering nicely. I cannot describe all the conflicting emotions I'm feeling - suffice it to say I am worn out from the emotional roller-coaster this diagnosis has me on.

Annie remains hospitalized overnight and I expect a call late morning or early noon tomorrow to let me know when she will be released. Now all Artie and I can hope for is the biopsy results will show clean borders if we are fortunate enough to receive such good news.