Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Good-Bye, Demi

I knew when she asked to come into the main house that she was getting ready to leave us. She spent the last two weeks sleeping by the wood stove with fresh food and water close by. It was a long good-bye.

Despite our efforts, she faded to a ghost of her self. Yesterday, she couldn't move herself from her bed and her eyes were distant, as if she was already on a journey to a country only she could see.

Yesterday afternoon, we released her from her failed body.



I will remember her as she was--quietly sturdy, resilient and loving.



Thank you for all the years you loved us, Demi. Thank you for finding us when you needed a home for your babies. You brought so much life and laughter to us through those kittens, and your endless affection was a blessing we will always remember.



May your happy heart play among the breezes of summer and the dancing stars of winter.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Old Ladies

I frequently find our senior cats enjoying the warmth of the strengthening sun on their old bones. The upstairs patio window faces south and you can tell by the collection of cat beds in front of it that this is a favorite spot.

I really don't know how old Grendel is. She was a full-grown cat the summer Bunny was born (1996) so she is at least thriteen and more likely fourteen or older. She lived feral in the woods and I caught her in 1996 but she escaped after we got her spayed. I didn't see her again for several years until she turned up in our cat trap in 1999. Until then, I thought she must have met some unhappy end, so finding her alive was like getting a second chance. For her and for us.



So she has been in the house now for nine years. She doesn't trust us but we can handle her enough to take her to the vet for check-ups and such.



The new girl Jasmine lost no time in figuring out the best places to nap.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Frieda Update

Frieda was waiting with her sister on the step in the shop for breakfast this morning. She comes out of her "snug retreat" more and more to participate in life in the shop. We let her outside briefly a couple of times when we were standing in the yard. She strides purposefully around looking for any sign of grass, but as you can see, that time is still a couple weeks away...



She moves stiffly, as if her hips are sore, but she is greatly recovered from the thin, unhappy cat she was in early February.

On the other hand, Demi has become a ghost. She asked to come into the house from the shop on Wednesday. She settled into one of the cat beds in front of the wood stove and has been in the house ever since.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Demi



Edited to Add: Sorry I have been pressed for time and often up-load photos without explanation.

This is our eighteen-year-old (?) Demi. She has started to look her age over the past couple weeks and asked to come into the house from the shop on April 16th. She spends most of her time sleeping by the wood stove, where we have also provided her with fresh water and food.

She is obviously wearing out but seems happy and eats well, so aside from giving her extra fluids, we are letting her rest. We have been through this final stage of live often enough as our cats age and know what signs to distress to look for. She is doing okay and we hope she can drift off peacefully into the forever sleep snuggled in her warm bed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jasmine - Two Weeks



We are very happy with how smoothly Jasmine has fit into our household.

I was hoping there would be a minimum of hissing and bruised feelings. I took the chance on bringing her here because she was such a laid-back kitty at the Shelter. Maintaining equilibrium in a multi-cat household is no small concern and although there are several wonderful cats at the Shelter that I would love to bring home, their personalities are such that they need to be the star of the household--and our household already has several stars...

But Jasmine is happy to fit in. She isn't timid--she took a spot on the foot of the bed and regularly sits on one of the three chairs upstairs to watch the daily doings. But--perhaps because of her age and experience--Jasmine doesn't feel she has to push herself into any situation where disruption might ensue. She just takes her place with confidence and lets the household's routines swirl around her.

And I can tell she is very happy to be part of a real household. She is still adjusting to having canned food available whenever she wants it--she has put on a little weight in the last couple weeks. But I like to see extra weight on extremely geriatric kitties. They need the reserves and when they are pleasingly plump, they are doing well.

And when I think of all those months when she had to scramble for food, all the nights she went to sleep hungry, I am happy to provide a place when she will never need to go to bed hungry.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Taking in the Sunshine

Grendel

Shy, still-somewhat-feral Grendel is hungry for the warmth of sunlight on her old bones after the long winter. We see her more often out with the other cats these past few weeks. We try not to spook her but she remains very leery of any overt attention.

What must be confusing for her is that she appears to have gone mostly deaf, so unless she sees us, she isn't really sure if we are around or not. Maybe that is why she is risking exposure more of late.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Relaxed



When I imagine all the nights during the months of her abandonment that Jasmine must have gone to sleep huddled in a cold, hungry, frightened ball, my heart swells when I see her sleeping with such relaxation.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Frannie



Frannie looked so nice when I came in with the wood this evening that I had to have a picture of her on the sofa.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Twenty-Fourth Cat



Meet Jasmine.

She has been at the Animal Shelter since November of 2006.

She came in thin, dirty and starving. Someone recognized her as a cat that had been missing from her home since March of that year. Her people didn't want her any more but they did tell us that Jasmine was fifteen.

She had been on her own, scrounging for food and shelter, for eight months. At what is considered a geriatic age for cats.

At that age, she isn't a cat that most people would be willing to adopt. So she has spent the last year and a half at the Animal Shelter.

And I got to know her. She is a quiet, unassuming cat. She got along well with all the cats roaming free in the big cat room at the Shelter. All she needs is a place to live out the last few years of her life.

So she came to join us here last week.

It has gone better than I expected. She slipped quietly into the household with nary a hiss and is entertaining herself with eating any time she wants and sleeping on the foot of the bed all night.

She seems very happy to have a household around her again.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Frieda

I had to extricate Frieda from her nest/cage this morning to wash her feet. She managed to crust the toes of one foot with hardened cat litter and I needed to wash it. I was surprised when I lifted her up at her heft. Not too long ago, I hated to pick her up and feel how insubstantial she had become. Today she had some heft to her. Her two-can-a-day diet has given her back some of her weight.

I am increasingly hopeful that she may get to taste the new grasses of another Spring.