Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving feasts and quality time with friends and family is great at this time of year, but I think it's always good to reflect on what we're grateful for on this holiday.

Our friend, Ingrid, from The Conscious Cat makes a Thanksgiving ABCs list each year. I really love this idea, so I'm taking a page from her book and making one of my own.

Happy Thanksgiving graphic featuring Tylan.


A - Airplanes - They bring friends here to see us (while they're attending work events/conferences here).
B - Books - You can never have too many books!
C - Carmine!
D- Dr. S (our vet) - He works diligently to help me keep my boys as healthy as they can be.
E - Ears - I rely on and value my sense of hearing a great deal.
F  - Friends.
G - God's grace. I'd be lost without it.
H - Home - Our apartment may be small, but I value it very much.
I - Ice cream!
J - Job - I am thankful that I've been able to turn writing into a career.
K - K-LOVE - I love this radio station. I listen to it nearly everyday. It's very uplifting.
L - Letters - I have a few penpals, and I love sending mail to and getting mail from them.
M - Music
Happy Thanksgiving graphic featuring Carmine.
N - Netflix - I use Netflix and Hulu daily. I really like background noise while I work
O - Orange cats.
P - Pumpkin - I love pumpkin-flavored things - coffee creamer, pie, ice cream...
Q - Quotes - Inspirational quotes.
R - Reese's peanut butter eggs, pumpkins, trees, cups....you get the idea. :)
S - Sunshine.
T - Tylan.
U - Unconditional love.
V - Vanilla caramel tea - It's my favorite kind of tea.
W - Words - They allow me to express myself and connect with others.
X - Xyzal - The allergy medication I take year-round that allows me to snuggle with my kitties.
Y - Youngsters - Stories of my nephews are so entertaining!
Z - Zucchini bread - My grandma used to make delicious zucchini bread.

What are you thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tylan's Tuesday

Tylan hanging out on my bed.Hi everyone, it's me, Tylan!

I thought I should check in since it's been a little while. 

Life here is pretty good. But I do have one little complaint.

I DON'T GET ENOUGH TUMMY RUBS!!!!

How long will it take the Mom lady to realize that it is her job to drop whatever she is doing and rub my tummy whenever I want? When I flop down by her feet and roll onto my back, it's time for tummy rubs, not time to clean or write or get ready for bed! 

Humans.... Maybe someday, she'll learn. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

How Emotional Support Animals Saved My Life


A photo of me with my cat friend, Mason.
I've always loved cats. I've always considered them good friends and fantastic listeners. I always knew I'd have a cat when I became old enough to move out and live on my own. What I didn't know is how much my cats would change me or my life.

A Rough Start

My life had a rocky start. At five months of age, I became a survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome. From what I've been able to piece together through family members, my foster mother, and the newspaper, the violent shaking resulted in one or both of my arms being broken, a broken breastbone, damage to my optic nerve, and blood pooling in the back of my eyes. While surgeons were able to drain the blood from the back of my eyes, I was left with a degenerative eye condition called optic atrophy. Unfortunately, my vision has worsened over the span of my life thus far. While I'm very thankful for the vision I still have, I'm terrified of how much more vision I'll lose – especially when I notice my condition progressing.

I spent six weeks in the hospital where I developed meningitis and temporarily lost my ability to hear. After I was released from the hospital, I was placed into foster care for approximately six months. I was eventually returned to my parents' custody.

This event has always caused me to feel a lot of shame. I was told that I should never speak the truth about what happenned to me. I was to blame my eye condition on the meningitis instead. I was told that if I told the truth, people would think that I was a bad baby. The shame I still feel over this event is absolutely overhwlming.

As a child, I never felt I was good enough for my parents. I was always compared to my sister. I felt like she was the, “good” daughter and I was the, “bad” one. Everyone could see that we were treated differently, and many people told me about their observations when I became a young adult.

Emotions were not valued in our household. If I tried to express myself, I was either made fun of or discounted. Even laughter and happiness seemed to be unacceptable.

My severe vision impairment was a source of tension in the home. I always felt like I was in the way. I needed to be right next to the television to see it, for instance, which annoyed some people.

Verbal and emotional abuse were a constant presence in my life. In addition to that, I felt my parents were emotionally distant. While my father and I have a pretty decent relationship now, we had a rocky one while I was growing up. I know now that he always loved me and my sister, but I didn't feel loved by him during my childhood. My dad expresses love in a less obvious way than I needed him to. While he always said he loves me if I told him I love him, I felt disappointed that I always had to initiate that exchange.

My dad used to be a very angry person. It wasn't until he spent some years with my stepmom, Marie, that he really changed. I credit her for helping him become the person I think he was always meant to be. While I am not as close to my dad as I would like to be, we can now have civil conversations, and he tells me he loves me without me having to prompt him to say it, which makes me really happy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sadie: Over the Rainbow Bridge

Logan and I have been friends for many, many years. He is an animal lover, just like the rest of us here. He has had kitties since the time I met him, and I have always felt he is a wonderful cat (and now dog) dad. All of the kitties who have claimed him are quite lucky to have found him.

Sadie.
Isn't Sade adorable? Whenever I see photos of her, I just want to pick her up and snuggle her in my arms.

One of his cats was Sadie. I had really hoped to meet her someday. I had heard so many wonderful things about her.

On Saturday morning, Logan told me it was time for Sadie to cross the Rainbow Bridge. She had a brain tumor and chronic renal failure. Logan did everything he could for her for as long as he could. Her body had finally had enough.

Logan had a co-worker back in high school who found two abandoned kittens in their barn. Tragically, a coyote ate Sadie's brother. When Logan heard this, he knew he had to save Sadie from the same fate, so he took her home.

Sadie loved everybody! She got along well with her feline and canine housemates. She loved to be cuddled. Logan says that Sadie was a calm and chill cat.

Sadie and her dad, Logan, in the grass.
I just love this photo of Sadie with her dad in the grass.

Sadie loved to eat! Logan says that if dinner was at 6, and it was 6:01 and you hadn't fed her yet, you'd get little reminder nibbles from her.

Sadie also loved to play with laser pointers. Up until a few months ago, she was more interested and interactive with laser pointers than anyone else in the house!

She was a beautiful and special kitty who will be missed by many. I'm sad I never had a chance to meet this wonderful kitty, but I'm really happy that Logan has shared stories of her with me over the many years we've been friends.

We love you, Sadie. Fly free, sweet girl.

Sadie.

Sadie

May 15, 2000 - November 9, 2019

*Photos used with permission.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Rescue Meez: A Book Every Cat Lover Should Read

Rescue Meez book cover.
Many of you know how much I adore Siamese cats. What you may not know, however, is that I wasn't always so fond of the breed. It's rather embarrassing to admit, but there was a time in my life that - while I thought they were beautiful - I was perfectly content if a Siamese kept her distance from me.

You see, my parents got divorced when I was seven years old. My dad stayed in our house in the country while my mother, sister, and I moved into the city. At our country home, we always had several outdoor kitties. We had cats of nearly every color over the years - orange ones, a white one with a gray spot on his head, a calico, a brown tabby, solid gray cats, and we even had a Siamese or two!

At one point, we had a beautiful seal-point Siamese. Back then, I thought Siamese all looked the same - I thought they were all seal-point. I also didn't know about feral or semi-feral cats. I naively thought that all cats loved to be picked up, cuddled, and wanted to live inside.

I just loved how this Siamese cat looked. He or she was so gorgeous! I wanted to pick him or her up and cuddle him or her in my arms. So, one day I start walking toward the kitty to pet him or her. I didn't get within 10 feet before he or she gave me a nice loud hiss. I knew enough to back off, but I formed a belief that Siamese cats were mean and unfriendly.

Fast forward 10 years or more...and I meet Lita. Initially I didn't think of Lita as a Siamese - I was still under the impression that Siamese cats only had the one look. Lita was very friendly and affectionate.

When I moved here to Colorado with her, she became my best friend. She followed me around, listened to horribly boring textbooks with me, "helped" me eat my dinner in the evening, and told me when it was time for sleep. She was my constant companion.

Then one day, someone mentioned that she was a beautiful Siamese. Siamese?! But Lita was friendly and affectionate and she didn't look like the cats in The Lady and the Tramp! I learned that she was a blue lynx-point Siamese.

Over the years in volunteering with cat shelters, I met many more Siamese, mostly seal-point and blue lynx-point ones. Nearly all of them were incredibly friendly and affectionate and loved to be pet. After I started this blog, I also did some research about the Siamese and found that your typical Siamese cat will be intelligent, affectionate, and love people.

Now, I can't imagine my life without a Siamese in it! It would just be wrong.

Lita on the couch. She was young when this photo was taken.
My beautiful Lita when she was young.

So, after my beautiful and precious Lita passed away in 2018, I knew I wanted another Siamese kitty. I wanted to give another Siamese cat a good and loving home in her honor.

I am part of a wonderful Siamese cat group on Facebook, and I asked members where I might find another Siamese to bring home. Nearly everyone who answered recommended Siamese Cat Rescue Center. I had heard about this organization before and really admired the work they do. So, I seriously looked into the application process. I was about to start the process when I decided to see who might be available locally. A search on PetFinder led me to approximately six beautiful Siamese cats who were in my local area. Though I found some gorgeous blue lynx-points like Lita, I was afraid it would be too painful to have a kitty who looked so much like her so soon after she was gone,, though I do hope to be owned by one again someday. I emailed about a few kitties, a couple of seal-points and a flame-point.

I heard back about a cute seal-point first. After getting some questions answered, I scheduled a meet and greet with his foster mom. Carmine and I went to see him, and he told us in no uncertain terms that he was going to come home with us! Anyone who is owned by a Siamese knows that you can try, but arguing with one is futile, so you might as well just do what they say! And that's what I did. After he finished his antibiotics for  an upper respiratory infection, he came to live with us. Tylan has been here for a year now.