My favorite photo of Midgie..so happy digging a hole in the dirt. ..something she only did that one time.

My favorite photo of Midgie..so happy digging a hole in the dirt. ..something she only did that one time.

For the past year, I have pretty much suspended my cat blogging because I have been helping my 18 year Shih-tzu/Peke mix, Midgie,  get through her final days.

My “Puppy” never knew a stranger. Despite her very hard start in life at the hands of a man who neglected her, she loved everyone  – especially children.

A certified therapy dog, Her favorite times were visiting the children at Egleston Childrens Hospital.Midgie Fall Fest1

Going to the vet or shopping with Mom was just another opportunity for her to make new friends. Outgoing, smart and confident, Puppy maintained her happy, sweet loving outlook on life through all of the many changes in mine.

Over the years, she helped me foster many a litter of kittens, always greeting their arrival with a wagging tail and kisses.  The last foster she was young enough and stable enough to get involved with was Cody, the two-week old bottle baby I rescued minutes from being euthanized at a local shelter three years ago. 5

After he filled his little tummy with almost two ounces of warm formula, I wrapped him up in a fleece throw and put him on the sofa for a long afternoon nap.  Midgie stayed on the sofa with him, periodically checking on him to make sure he was OK, then looking over at me and smiling as if to say, “He’s doing good, Mom, I think he’s going to pull through.” And he did. Today, he’s a beautiful, big smoke gray Maine Coon boy.

Midgie and I were soul mates and best friends.  We got each other.

At 17, Midgie enjoyed a sunny afternoon last fall, even though she couldn't see well.

At 17, Midgie enjoyed a sunny afternoon last fall, even though she couldn’t see well.

Even in this last year as I watched her slowly decline, she still managed to smile and keep her positive disposition.

But over Labor Day weekend, Midgie began to wheeze like someone having an asthma attack. Then she would pant heavily as if she couldn’t catch h er breath. That would throw her into a panic she would try to run away from…and of course, at 18, she couldn’t run anymore. She could barely walk because of the arthritis in her hips.  So I realized it was enough and she couldn’t go any further.

Sunset over NaplesThe morning I let her go, God seemed to cry with me.

When the time came, it thundered and started to rain. Afterwards, the clouds lifted and the sun came out.. as if He was saying, “She’s with me now.. And you will see her again one day.”

Until we meet again my Sweet Angel..I will always love you.

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I wish I had more time to just sit and blog, I really do. So I doubt many will be reading this, but I did want to take a moment while I have it to look back at this year and give a little update on my “fe-lion” family.

This year, there were no foster cats or kittens but there were some losses and some additions. Despite best efforts not to adopt any more, they still seem to find me.  There were also some rescues and placements.

Though I got through Kitten Season this spring and summer without taking in any more kittens (because they always end up staying), I did work to get some kittens into rescue in August and September.

I had a neighbor with about a dozen or more outside cats who suddenly moved from their home and left the unspayed/unneutered cats and kittens behind.  They also left about seven tiny Chihuahua’s behind in the house.  We have no animal control ordinances in this rural county so despite my getting sheriff’s deputies out to the house, they could do nothing to confiscate any of the animals because they owners told them they were feeding the dogs and the cats.  Well, they were half right. 

ImageThey came by every few days to feed the dogs inside the house (with no electricity in 80+ degree weather), but did not feed the cats.  So, I put out my feeder and a big bowl for water for them in the carport and would stop by every few days on my way to work to feed the cats. 

Eventually, working with the good folks at the Hart County Humane Society and the Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter I was able to rescue about half of the cats, which were kittens from a spring litter and about 5 months old, along with several female  and male adults.  Only two had to be euthanized because they were FELV positive.  The rest were adopted out after several weeks of treatment for malnutrition, fleas, worms, etc. and being tested, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

What’s interesting is that even though the Sheriff couldn’t do anything for the dogs and cats, the owner came to my front door just this past week and asked me to help her take the Chihuahua’s to the animal shelter.  They were all skin and bones because her husband, who was supposed to be feeding them, was obviously not.  They are now all in a no-kill rescue and will no doubt soon have great homes.

Sadly, I lost two cats this year.  My beautiful Binky died just two weeks ago of an unknown cause.  Binky refused to be an indoor cat, despite my best efforts but she would always come inside to eat.  Then, she would want to be outside again.  She never roamed the neighborhood, but always stayed in either my yard or my neighbor’s next door and across the street.  One day a couple of weeks ago she didn’t come when I called her so I went looking for her.  Sadly, I found her dead in my neighbor’s yard.  She did not appear to have been injured in any way. She had not been ill. She had not had any sort of upper respiratory or anything that would indicate she was ill.  So I don’t know why she died. She did not have FELV.   I would rather my cats stay inside or just in the backyard, but several, like Binky, just won’t.  

ImageThe other one I lost recently was Jade, my black kitten.  Jade is missing and I hope is still alive, just living at someone else’s home in the neighborhood down the hill.  I’ve posted signs and gone looking and calling for her, but after two weeks, nothing.

Even though I let my cats out during the day, they must come in at night, except for Binky and MaeMae. So when Jade didn’t come home I again, went looking for her.  I just hope she’s ok.

ImageBut there have been two additions.  About a month ago, a beautiful bobtail showed up, mewing, and looking for food.  So I’ve been Imageputting out food for him/her, but the kitty will not let me within 10ft before he runs off. ..still he comes every morning and evening he comes for his daily meals. 

Then, about a month ago, I was taking the trash out very early one Saturday morning and big black and white tuxedo came running up to me, mewing like I was his long lost owner.  For several weeks he was content to stay outside and eat his meals on the front porch.  When it got cold, I just scruffed him and brought him inside.

ImageMy cats were fine with him being around, as they’ve been fine with the bobtail hanging around, so when I brought him inside, they did nothing.  There was none of the usual hissing and growling that normally goes with introducing a new adult cat to an existing cat household.

I had at first taken him to  the NE GA Animal Shelter. I had just lost Binky and really didn’t want another cat.  Well as they tried to put him in a quarantine cage, he got loose and went ballistic in the quarantine room, knocking bowls and equipment off shelves, growling, mewing and hissing.  They had to use a catch pole to get him and put him back in the carrier.  Sheri, the shelter manager, brought him back out to me and said if I didn’t take him back, she’d have to euthanize him because he wasn’t adoptable. 

So I thought, well, if you’re going to stay cat, then you have to be neutered, tested and vaccinated. He went straight to the vet.  The next day, I picked him up and let him loose when we got home.  “Off you go,” I said.  He ran into the woods and I assumed he would run back to wherever he came from.  Well he was back on my front porch in time for dinner that evening.

Long story even longer…he’s now an inside cat.  Wasn’t sure how he’d react when I first brought him inside, but he made himself at home.  Turns out he’s a great cat and must have been someone’s indoor kitty.  He doesn’t pick fights, he doesn’t spray, he uses the litter box perfectly. In short, he has perfect indoor manners and has turned out to be a great cat.  Named him Cooper. ..the only name he seems to like.

ImageAnd my oldest cat Tommy is still hanging in there. Tommy is now 17, just a few months older than my dog Midgie who is also 17.  Tommy no longer grooms himself so I do it for him, which he doesn’t like, but needs.  Old Tommy came to me as a 7wk old kitten in 1995, turned in to the Gwinnett Humane Society where I volunteered by a lady who found him in an office park.  He was adopted out and returned a month later and has stayed ever since.

Tommy has always been a quiet and happy cat and he is enjoying his retirement years curled up and napping in his little cabana bed. He’s stiff in his hips when he walks and he mews like an old man every afternoon at 4p when it’s time for his canned food or when he wants a snack, but he’s doing pretty well. Tommy is the last of my original seven cats.  He’s seen a lot and lived a lot of places with me during that 17 years and has always been willing to welcome change and new things.  Hope he stays around a little longer.

Well that’s been 2012.  We wish all of our readers and their “fe-lions” a very happy, safe, and blessed holiday and a prosperous 2013!

 

 

 

I never know what to expect when I come home from work.  This is why I keep the bathroom door closed when I’m away, but I forgot the other day.

This had to be Jasmine and Jade’s idea..my Terrible Two.

They only look incident.

Lucky for them, Mom thought it was funny.

"This is fun!"

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