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Archive for the 'Cats' Category

Toxic Herbs?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

I recently grabbed one of the nifty Chia Herb Garden kits and want to place the little pots of Curled Parsley, Dill, Chives, Basil, Cilantro, and Marjoram on my kitchen windowsill.  There's plenty of room - the only problem is Maggie.

Mags likes to get on the windowsill to welcome us home, or - sometimes - just to check out what's going on in the patio.  She has been known to nibble at any plants sitting there, so my concern is the toxicity of these particular herbs to kitties.  I've scoured the web and came away more confused than knowledgeable; some sites said parsley was toxic, some said it wasn't - a few listed chives, some never mentioned it - the others I had trouble finding information on at all, if any.

I know a good number - if not nearly all - of my readers are cat-lovers and owners, and a goodly number are in-the-know about herbs and gardening so I thought my best bet would be to ask all of you.  Any advice or knowledge you could pass along would be oh-so helpful.  What - if any - of these herbs are safe to have around my little furbabies?

As always, thanks in advance, you guys.

Baby, You’re A Star

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Maggie makes her Internet video debut on YouTube:

The Next Contestant

This was completely a fluke and un-choreographed and probably only really hilarious to us - but, thought I'd share it anway.

Cat In Sink!

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

There is no rational explanation for the human fascination with a cat sitting in a sink - nor is there for why, exactly, felines like to occupy usually water-filled basins...all I know is that it's a shared joy for observer and participant.

I've long been a fan of Cats in Sinks, but never even dared to hope that I'd get in on having my furry, loved ones posted on the hallowed basin-full-of-fur archives. Gia and JoJo, you see, were not interested in sinks. Not in any, way, shape or form - I'm not even sure they know what sinks are.

My cats, thankfully, are not - and never have been - counter-jumpers. They don't get on our kitchen counters, and they would never even attempt to get on the bathroom counters. I never trained them this way; they just "came" like this...fresh out the box. Who was I to complain?

I certainly wasn't about to train my cats to get on my counters simply to get a cat-in-sink shot. I'll admit, though, that I wasn't above trying to plop them in a dry sink and take a hasty snapshot. Since no camera has been designed to snap that "perfect" picture of a kitty seconds before they run off, none of these drop-attempts worked.

Then along came our Maggie Fuu - Purveyor & Instigator of All Badness. Maggie has no problems being rude and knocking things off of your desk, walking across your keyboard, or jumping on the "off-limits" counters. She really doesn't give a toss about such kitty-etiquette. If it exists, Maggie must observe it, explore it, test it, and figure it completely out.

The sink - thankfully - is no exception (counters and plants with oh-so chewable leaves are another matter). When I realized she was playing in the sink and interested enough to actually STAY there for a few minutes, I ran for my camera. My little photogenic angel didn't disappoint and FINALLY I have a photo to submit to Cats in Sinks (which I've done!)

Now if I could just get her off the counters..

It’s Not a Ferret

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

As of Friday, we are - once again - a three-cat home.

Six months to a year after we lost Gilly, I was ready for another cat. The Worm was not and said an emphatic "no" to all of my pleadings. Eventually, I dropped it and felt that - when the time was right - the kitty that was meant to be ours would appear.

Two kittens were rescued this past week at the compound where I work, stuck in a sewer. One got a home, the other needed one - someone called me, and I felt it...felt this was "it". I called The Worm and, for the first time since I've been asking, said "Ok." He said he felt it, too - this kitty was meant to come into our little family.

When they brought her to me she was shaking and crying, but as soon as I held her in my arms, she calmed down. My co-worker commented, "Yep, she's at home."

JoJo has already warmed to her fairly well (they were even playing a bit this morning) and Gia, well Gia is older and set in her ways but she'll be fine as long as she's left alone.

The kitty, a little girl, is still nameless and we've been going through lists and lists and nothing "fits" just yet. The closest we've come is Isabel/Isabelle, and calling her "Izzy" - and we both like "Maggie" as well - but we're still not sure. Any suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated - leave 'em in the comments. :)

And now, without further adieu, I introduce you to the newest member of the family (click for larger image):

Her favorite place to be is on my desk - which is great; I've always wanted a "computer kitty". :)

This is where she and her sister were rescued from on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Her sister, adopted by the rescuer, named her "Katrina".

They told me I should name her "Rita", since the day I got her was around the time Rita was hitting the western part of the state. I don't know, though; seems like an ill-luck name to me (and not a very cute kitty name).

She was being taken care of by workers at the compound, but at night and on weekends she would've been alone. They couldn't find anyone to adopt her and, as I said, I believe she was meant to end up with us.

She's brought a lot of light and laughter back into the house already - which is good, because we've been going through some very difficult times lately (including the death of the Worm's grandmother last weekend).

So leave her a welcome message in the comments (and name suggestions, please!) and we'll make sure she gets them (not a problem, since she spends 95% of her time around my computers!)

Addendum: 7pm

Her name is Maggie.  Maggie Fuu.

Of course, the nicknames have already started.  Magna-Doodle, Magpie, Mags, Magga-Magga.

Her long name - for when she's being fussed at? - Magdalene Louise.  JoJo's is Joseph Perrina (Joseph isn't his real name, either) and Gia's is Gia Maria Ferina.  Yes, we're very silly with the nicknames (what pet owner isn't?).

Welcome Maggie girl - you're finally home.

JoJo is the Reason for the Season

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

Having JoJo home has been the most awesome, amazing thing. Every day he was a little better and today, a week-to-the-day we found him, it's almost as if he'd never left. He's gaining weight back and he's up to all of his old tricks...including harassing poor Gia.

Work has been the absolutely deranged clusterfuck of insanity. I come home exhausted. I go to bed early, and I'm up late...sometimes giving myself only 10 minutes to get ready and rush out the door. I go see the doc tomorrow and I'm going to talk to him about the fatigue accompanying the Zoloft. It's better since I'm talking half at night and half in the morning, but I'm still more exhausted than I should be.

Other than that and the non-stop whirlwind that has been my life, there's not much else to report. I miss all of you, I miss blogging and I hope I'll be able to devote some time to it again soon.

It’s a Motherfucking Miracle

Friday, July 15th, 2005

Wednesday evening Baret and I were reunited with JoJo!

I know what you're thinking...how long ago was it that he went missing?! He's been gone since June 12. Everyone's wonderful thoughts, prayers, and candle-lighting worked. Our baby is home.

He's malnourished and a little skittish (doesn't like being alone) but is otherwise fine...considering that for the past month he's been stuck under someone's decking in a hole not big enough for him to stand or turn around in. A month.

We're guessing he survived by eating bugs and/or grass, and drinking puddles of rainwater that collected in his small, dirt prison. Jo has always been a remarkable cat and this just proves that even more.

I can't begin to tell you the shock and overwhelming joy I felt when The Worm walked into the patio holding him. I lost it, crying...I was completely in shock. We brought him inside and he was freaking out, too. He couldn't decide between telling us all about his ordeal, eating and rubbing on Mama. He'd try to eat, so fast I thought he was going to puke, and talk around the food.."marow, rooow, roow," then he'd run to me and rub on me (I was sitting on the floor), then, starving, he'd run back to the food, devour a few bites whole, then run back to me. I scooted over to the food bowl so he could eat and love on me (and I, on him) at the same time! I just couldn't believe he was there.

A trip to the vet the next day revealed that he's ok...though with a slight fever. The doc was very concerned about all of the missing hair (and a few sores) on his inner thighs and legs and tummy (I'm guessing from having his belly against the ground for so long). He's on a ton of meds, every few hours, but he doc said as long as he's eating and drinking normally (he sure is!) he'll be fine.

Just wanted to thank you..all of you...for your thoughts, positive come-home-JoJo energy, burning candles and/or prayers. Whatever you did...it worked. Our little family is back together, and JoJo is home where he belongs. Everyone (excluding Gia who was loving being the only child more than anything) is so very happy!

Not Knowing is the Worst

Monday, June 20th, 2005

Despite it all, we had a nice weekend. We had family & friends over Saturday evening for dinner, and it was a nice distraction from the big, gaping hole in the household where JoJo should be.

Sometimes I hold up amazingly well - so well it surprises me, and then I feel guilty. Other times, I lose it. I go off and cry alone so as not to upset Baret, who can't talk about it or cry about it like I can. He grieves differently. It makes it more difficult. It puts up this silent, stony wall between us; an unscalable mountain of grief. It makes me feel very alone. Sometimes we're going on about our menial, day-to-day household crap and it's like the massive, bulky elephant standing in the living room that no one is talking about.

Stupid things make me cry. His empty food bowl. Part of me wants to fill it, as if saying "It's waiting for you to come back, love. I'm going to keep filling it like you're still here." But the adult part of me knows all the food would go bad because Gia won't eat out of his bowl and that would be a waste. My practicality scares me sometimes. Going into the bathroom is hard. Everytime I used to he'd jump in the tub so I could turn the faucet on - he was addicted to the fresh water. Anytime I'm in the bed' if Mama was in the bed, JoJo was too. That's just the way it was. The holes in the corner of the dust ruffle, where it folds over the mattress; that's where he used to sharpen his claws. That sent me into a distraught sobbing episode before our guests arrived. I'd yell at him, "JoJo don't do that to my bed, gotdamnit!" And he'd run off, almost like it was a game. To him, it probably was. Attention was attention; it didn't matter if it was being fussed at or being loved. He was a goofball like that sometimes.

I made a little JoJo shrine on my altar. I have a picture of St. Francis of Assisi on there. I even bought one of those Catholic-saint candles at Walgreens. They didn't have St. Francis, so I bought a blank one and taped a picture of JoJo to it. It stays lit - so he can find his way home. One of his toys, a mouse, is up there.

This weekend revived my hope for humanity; a tad anyway. Two people called thinking they'd found JoJo. For a moment, my heart swelled. But then the nice lady on the phone asked if he had a white tip on his tail. No, not my JoJo - he's solid black; beautiful, like a cat that would belong to Egyptian royalty. We went over anyway, just to be sure. A black cat, long and lithe like Jo, but not Jo. She was so nice - said she'd been praying for him ever since she'd seen our flyers. That's neat. To think that random people in our neighborhood might be lending their positive thoughts and prayers to his coming home. Another man called two hours later - same cat, not JoJo. But I thanked him, told him I sincerely appreciated it. I did.

I felt sorry for the nice lady, who told me she loved cats. She said when they moved to our neighborhood her husband made her get rid of her two cats and her heart was breaking. I told Baret when we got home that if any husband of mine told me I had to get rid of my cats, he'd be the one finding himself a new home. I thought that was a very cruel thing for a husband to do to his wife who loves her cats. I'm lucky that Baret is a cat-lover, and that he considers my cats his babies, too. Even if he deals with the lows of pet-parenting differently than me; even when he shuts me out. At least he cares; even if his pain is stoney and silent.

I don't know what I'm saying. This is long and rambling, and I'm sorry. I learned this weekend you can't drink on Zoloft. I had to know. It just seems to make it not work. Yesterday I was a basket case and ended up having a panic attack; I think the alcohol, though I didn't drink that much, cancelled out the effects of the Zoloft. No more drinking for me. Today I'm a depressed, anxiety-ridden mess. I didn't miss this. But it does make me realize that my problem really is a chemical imbalance; that I really, at least not at this point in my life, cannot control it without some help from meds. I suppose that was a lesson I needed to learn.

Anyway. Thanks everyone. Tomorrow, JoJo will have been gone a week. One week. Seven days. Last Monday I stayed home from work and I'm so glad now. We hung out; lounged around in bed a lot late in the afternoon, Jo and I. That made him so happy; curled up next to my arm with his contented JoJo rumbling purr. The next morning, the last memory I have of him is him darting out the door as I opened it to go to work; a flash of black. I fussed at him gently, told him it might rain today so he'd best go back inside when Daddy left. "Be good, JoJo," I told him as I walked towards the patio gate. "Have a good day - I love you." I always told him stuff like that as I left for work. I turned around just before I stepped out the gate, to blow him a kiss, and he was sitting on the piece of driftwood that's by the window. He was squinting in the morning son, kind of frowning - probably at the nasty, humid heat. He looked at me, I blew my kiss to him, and turned around - the gate clanging shut behind me.

When we got home...he was gone.