Tuesday, February 19, 2013


It's been a typical winter week. Both Annie and I have been under the weather with human and doggie colds.  When that happens we sleep in, cuddle, listen to music, read and above all, Annie receives plenty of hugs, pats and massages which she thoroughly loves.

Orphee is still staking claim to the outer hall, but he comes to the apartment door more often now. The door is left open in the evenings even though he doesn't come across the threshold. We're hoping his curiosity will get the better of his fear of Annie and he will begin exploring new space. As soon as his neuter surgery is done that will change; Artie and I intend to begin a regimen of getting him adjusted to being in an apartment.

Also, there is the matter of Annie's end-of-the-year cancer surgery.  The initial surgery is now about 2 months behind us and I'm ready to write about this episode in depth.  I intend to cover it in a few coming posts by documenting the events leading up to, during and after the surgeries as well as trying to set some proactive guidelines so others can possibly avoid what we went through. More on this shortly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


My blog has been getting quite a large amount of hits from Taiwan which prompted me to do some surfing to check out the stray animal issue there.

Apparently strays are an issue no matter where in the world big cities are. In the past I've posted about the dogs of Pompeii Italy and strays in Singapore, now Taiwan.

From what I've found on the internet, black dogs and black dog mixes are prized as guard dogs. Their lives are spent tethered by short leases. Dogs that are no longer wanted by their families are let loose to become strays living terribly hard lives.

Cats and dogs are still used for food. There is an old abandoned mining town populated by stray cats that has become a destination for amateur photographers and tourists. The cats there are fed an taken care of to some extent by local people and volunteers.

There are other websites that depict the suffering of animals in ways too upsetting to contemplate. Whomever is reading my blog in Taiwan please do what you can to get others to change their attitudes about animals. We have a long way to go here in the United States but there are many dedicated people doing what they can to improve animal welfare. The Taiwanese people can do it too. All it takes is one person to start and your actions become like a pebble thrown in a quiet lake; the ripples will move into bigger and bigger circles.

Gandhi said the greatness of a country can be judged by the way it treats its animals. All nations need to become more humane in our treatment of animals. Start by alleviating the pain and suffering, make citizens accountable for what they do to animals, institute spay/neuter laws.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I've been in touch with The Toby Project and we've set the date for Orphee's neuter surgery - March 4th.

In the meantime, we are still trying to get him to join the family but he's sticking to the hallway as his home. With all the stairs, his food and water bowls, the litter box and his scratching post out there I guess it really is home to him.

Late one night and very early the next morning Artie heard scratching at the door. He opened it to find Orphee looking up at him. Orphee began a conversation and Artie asked him to come in, opening the door wide. Orphee just stuck his head in the apartment, looked this way and that but did not venture any farther.

Hopefully his curiosity will get the better of him soon. For now, we are spending time sitting with him, talking soothingly to him, trying to get him more comfortable with being petted and handled. This is going to be a long process.

And how does Annie feel about all this? She looks at Orphee but doesn't get excited or cry anymore. Annie just gives him a sorrowful look. I guess she's wondering when he will join the family. For now, we all wait.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


One of my friends told me about a pharmacy for pets in Manhattan. New Yorkers are really wrapped up in their pets and apparently one pharmacy on the Upper East Side took it as a call to action.

Best Pet Rx carries all kinds of personal needs and has the standard prescription drug counter but this traditional drug store took it one paw further by catering to pets. The personal needs items are most likely for dogs, cats or birds. The pharmacists fill prescriptions from veterinarians.

During Buddy's illness, I injured my ankle and couldn't go to Hope Veterinary Clinic to pick up refills of his IV supplies. Doctor Young gave me prescriptions and my local neighborhood pharmacy filled them.

It looks like Pet Pharmacies will be the wave of the future.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


With Annie's illness, I missed Buddy's January anniversary. Today we start our 10th month without him.  It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since he died. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd have another cat ever again let alone in less than a year's time.

Orphee and I seem to be back on track, he's talking to me and acting more like an affectionate cat. I've pulled back a bit on the petting, scratching and rubbing; he's seems to like less of that instead of more like Buddy did. I'm really not making obsessive or unfair comparisons. Never having a cat before, I can only look to Buddy's behavior then compare Orphee's to that.

Anyway, I do so much miss my little man. No early morning conversations, no TV watching snuggle time. Who knows? Maybe someday Orphee will decide he needs someone to talk to and snuggle with and maybe I'll be that person.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I'm a day early but I wanted to remind everyone tomorrow is Groundhog Day when all of the United States will find out whether or not we will get an early spring or be subjected to 6 more weeks of winter.

Here in Brooklyn we follow the predictions of two groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck. Phil's been predicting the weather a lot longer than Chuck but Chuck has the distinction of having bitten Mayor Bloomberg a few years ago. This year will be the final opportunity for Chuck to do it again since Hizzoner's term ends with the swearing in of the new Mayor January 1, 2014.

You can read up on Phil at his official website:

Chuck's Wikipedia Page tells you all about him and lists his yearly predictions against Phil's: 
Sometime in the future I intend to make the trip to Punxsutawney to see Phil make his prediction. Of course, I also want to get out to Staten Island to see Chuck on another Groundhog Day.

After you get the lowdown on winter and spring you can always relax and watch the movie Groundhog Day while you contemplate the predictions. Keep warm and Happy Groundhog Day!