Saying goodbye

Solo has only been living here for just under a month. Rescued from a local mill, after feeding him for a few months, he jumped into my car and I ended up not having to trap him but just took him home.

While I was feeding him, he gave me every indication that he was a feral cat. Sitting deep inside the culvert he called home, he would growl and hiss every time I made an appearance. Instead, he turned out to be a loving kitty who had undoubtedly been mistreated in the past.

He will be euthanized tomorrow morning. He started vomitting bright green and bright yellow bile and the bottom line is he has been poisoned.

I am sad to say goodbye to this scrawny boy, and I just wish I could end his misery tonight, but he will have to wait until the vet appointment tomorrow morning. By the time I found out what the problem was it was to late in the day to go and fetch him and give him some peace.

I will miss you Solo Meow- you were the master of headbumps- some so fierce you would knock me off my feet at times. At night while I was reading you would come up behind me on the couch and bump my head so my glasses would tumble off into my lap. I wish someone in your past had been more tolerant of kitties and hadn’t decided to poison you. I am sorry I can’t set you free quicker- but I promise you soon, your torment will end.

Thank you for blessing my life even if it just was for only 23 days.

Things that make you go “Hmmm”

Recently, I found out that Google has “paused” my account. Why? I can’t fathom. Interestly enough, the adsense part of their program comes with no customer support- however, the adwords allows you full access to a living breathing person after you get past the automated voice that initially answers the phone.

Being a writer who excells in research, I have done some of my own checking only to realize that I am not alone in this type of situation and many small-time publishers have also had their accounts “paused.” No one has been successful in reaching the right parties to get their accounts restarted and the majority of these people have just given up trying.

To add to that if you google the words google sucks you will find that any website along those lines are being pulled off the web- so hmmmm….

I don’t have time to chase this nonsense any longer. Mike has been transfered to a nursing home for some long-term care and he also lost another job because he hasn’t been in his shop in so long to work on knives. I am in the process of looking for another job that will offer better pay and benefits but at my age, it doesn’t look likely that I will find anything.

But at any rate, onward and upward and if God leads you too it, He will lead you through it. Meanwhile, the google fiasco will have to go on without me- I have bigger problems to solve right now.

The Internet Reach

I am constantly amazed at the impact that the Internet has on people. On another website, I was confiding my fears about Mike and my frustration about the whole situation we are facing. A fellow rescuer from back East has lovingly decided to contribute her craft to my cause. You can read about her heart-warming offer here Amy’s Website

Mike has been re-hospitalized. His foot wasn’t getting better at home and so they have him back on a PIK line and an antibiotic drip. I don’t know when he will be home again and things here remain a bit in chaos. I am just trying to maintain everything and today was clean all the litter boxes day- a monumental task! I have dumped, scrubbed, sprayed and filled all the litter pans both in the house and out in the cat enclosure. I started this endeavor at 7:00 a.m. and it is almost 3:00 p.m. now! I had lots of help though- Charlie wants to be sure the level of the litter is correct so he has to jump in and inspect the depth. Sinclair just loves clean litter and in true kitty fashion, he jumped into each newly cleaned box and had a good roll.

Now, I am going to relax a bit and watch a movie until I have to go to work. I close tonight. My cats center me and I don’t know what I would do if they weren’t in my life right now-

I thought he was in pain….

I heard Mike groaning long after he had gone to sleep. He has been home from the hospital for 24 hours after being in there for one month and 3 days. He had told the doctor prior to discharge that he didn’t need the pain pills, but they sent them anyway. Listening to his groans was disconcerting, so I grabbed a vicodin and went into the bedroom.

Flipping on the light, I saw my husband in a full sweat. When I rushed over to wake him, he was cold and clammy- much like my heart suddenly felt. I tried to wake him, but it was difficult. He finally opened his eyes but they weren’t focused. He was slurring his speech, shaking and trembling and I was scared.

Testing his blood sugar revealed why his level was 41! Three orange juices, 2 glucose tablets and several hard candies later it leveled out at 123. He fell into a troubled sleep and I dashed out at 2:00 a.m. to Walmart for chocolates, orange juice, glucose tablets, sugar cubes and regular soda.

His blood sugars are not staying consistent. They are generally either too low or to high, they are never within normal range. I don’t have a spare minute to myself unless he is napping or sleeping. Then, I am keeping watch because I find I cannot relax until I know he is still breathing.

A friend of mine reminded me today of a saying: “If God Leads You to It, He will lead you through it.” I have to rest on God more and surrender my will to Him. Not what I want, but what He wants and I hope to understand all He is trying to teach me through this latest trial.

I did find a wheelchair today and rented it for 6 weeks for $20.00. I was grateful that I found one and didn’t have to buy one, but now I have to work at the thrift shop where it was located 8 hours a month. I did tell the woman that I couldn’t do anything until this crisis passes with my husband. She said she totally understood. After talking with her a few minutes more, she signed me up for a food box. It will be here twice a month and will just be produce and fruit and other items from the local farmers. I cried and told her I would welcome anything they would send.

I don’t like asking for help. The hospital bills are arriving at a rapid pace. I open them and gasp! And I thought VET bills were bad! Mike is on so much medication, he has so many machines hooked up to him right now and he seems to appreciate the fact that I found a wheelchair. I appreciate it as well- it was quite difficult pushing Mike around the house in the computer chair.

Here is his foot as of yesterday. I wish it looked better, but then, I suppose it could look a lot worse.

Morning Visitors

“The kiss of sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth, One is nearer God’s Heart in a garden Than anywhere else on earth” -Dorothy Frances Guerney-

This morning, I was pulling the weeds in the garden. Because of neglect, the weeds have grown up over my head. It has been so hot here, over 100 degrees and so last night before I went to bed, I gave the garden a good soaking. This made pulling weeds a lot easier.

I had left Kodie in the kennel. Last time I weeded, she thought it great fun when I tossed the weeds over the fence into a pile, to bring then back to me! “Did someone say ‘Fetch’ Mom?”

The weeds stretched out to the end of the woods. With everything going on with Mike, I haven’t even had two seconds to go out and tend the garden. Buried amongst the weeds were the radishes, corn, lettuce, peas, onions and other vegetables so carefully planted weeks ago.

The air was still and the birds were chirping overhead. The heat of the day hadn’t hit yet- I heard some splashing down by the creek, curious, I looked up. There on the top of the culvert stood a doe with two young fawn. The fawns were splashing in what was left of the creek. As she stood watch over her young family, a second group appeared. This doe also had two young fawns. The mothers took vigil on the top of the culvert as their youngsters played below.

It was a moment that brought all the chaos in my life to a halt. As I was hidden deep in the weeds and the wind was still, the does had no knowledge of my existence. Soon the moms relaxed and they nibbled each other necks. The babies were feeding on the long grasses at the bottom of the creek.

I look at our land and I thank God that He has allowed us this small slice of heaven here on earth. When I am out of sorts, all I need to do is go out in my pasture and hug my horses, then look up into the tall, centuries old pine trees and my soul is quieted.

Michael may come home today. If he does, he is going to require full-time care. They have him attached to a machine that is pulling out all the poisons in his leg. I am unsure how I am going to juggle taking care of his needs during his 6 weeks of medical house arrest and all my other responsibilities. But, right now in the midst of such a peaceful scene, I had a feeling that the details would work out.


Mike had surgery yesterday and so far I haven’t heard back from the surgeon about what they found. I did talk to him yesterday beforehand and he said that the reason he wanted to go in and clean out the foot was due to the fact that Mike’s foot was not healing. The infection was just sitting in the foot and the only other place for it to go would be into the bone. In order to prevent that from happening- they went in and cleaned it all out.

Mike’s main arteries to the leg are in trouble, one is almost all the way closed off, the other two are on their way to being calcified. But right now, the priority is to get the infection out.

I talked to the staff at the nursing home yesterday and made a comment to John the head nurse about Mike having surgery. His response, when I told him that they had removed all the infected tissue in the foot was “Oh, so THAT was infection we were seeing?” WTH? I used to work in both acute and convalescent homes back in high school- I knew it was infection and I don’t have a nursing degree! Brother.

My sister called me the other day. She is a cancer survivor. I haven’t heard from her in years as we had a bad falling out one day. She told me Daddy is dying so after we talked and made our peace, I called Mother. Daddy’s kitty Boots is dying. Once Boots is gone, my Daddy is going to die. I knew this years ago, Mike and I have discussed it often. My dad loves this cat and he can’t bear to lose him. Boots is 17 years old with CRF. I have a 2 month old kitten that i tried to get Daddy to take right now, but he is not interested. He hasn’t been able to do much since the accident (car accident) and he is the type of man who always had projects going. He will be 89 in October. I don’t think, after talking to them that he will see his birthday.

I asked Mother why she didn’t tell me, and she said I had enough on my plate. I told her I would come up but she said he doesn’t want any of you girls to see him like this. Apparently, it is a major struggle for him to get out of bed in the morning.

Anything else you want to throw at me God? I lost 6 kittens to FeLV, one cat to FIP. I almost lost my husband and now I am losing my Daddy. Boy, You must really think me a pillar of strength.

Ramped up

Growing tired of the apathetic approach of the SH doctors, I pulled MIke out of the nursing home yesterday and took him back to Corvallis to the ER. The admitted him immediately, fearing the infection in his foot had reached the bone and talking about doing an angiogram and an arterial bypass. They did the angiogram last night and found that the smaller vessels in the foot are in pretty bad shape but the major ones with the exception of one are not. This morning they are going to take him to surgery and open up his foot and clean it out really well. They will also do a scan of the leg to see if the infection has reached the bone as Mike’s arch on his left foot is now nowhere to be seen. The surgeon believes the bones are crumbling.

I’m up and need to feed the beasts before I go. I took Kodie with me yesterday as Baron is now with Chris and Kodie jumped out of the truck after it was parked and came to the ER looking for me! So today, I have to leave her at home because it is going to be so hot- that the only way she can stay in the truck is if the windows are down all the way.

Here is the ramp that Dennis and Jack built-

Where are the RD’s?

Yesterday, Mike was supposed to be released from the nursing home. He was excited (understandably) about finally getting to come home. He wanted me to come and pick him up at 4:00 a.m. but I convinced him that 8:30 was a more civilized hour.

We had to take Dennis to the airport as his departure coincided with Mike’s appointment at the clinic. Denny had to sit at the airport several hours early, but he said that was fine with him. He had his laptop and blackberry so he wouldn’t be bored.

So we said our goodbyes and thanked Dennis for all his hard work. While Denny was here he built the wheelchair ramp, fixed the sprinklers in the garden, repaired the broken pipes in the pasture and fixed my dishwasher. He is just like his dad, an amazing young man. I will be forever grateful to you Dennis for all you did- and you navigated the maze of cats here at the house without the aid of your TomTom!

So I take Mike to his appointment where he is going to his regular clinic, although his doctor is leaving in just a few weeks. Seems we couldn’t get in to see his normal doctor, so they put us in with this other one. Someone not familiar with Mike’s history and who doesn’t know either one of us.

The doctor breezes in and sits down. I had unwrapped Mike’s foot and almost passed out because of how it looked. I didn’t visit him since I admitted him to the home for several reasons. I needed a break, gas is costly and Dennis visited him quite a lot. So I hadn’t seen his foot recently. It is not better, not by a long shot. It is re-infected but not at the original site wound, but in other places.

So here we are waiting for the doctor and joking about whether or not he is an RD (a real doctor) sort of a private joke between us with a sad story attached to the meaning. This doctor waltzes in, and I start asking him questions about how come Mike’s foot isn’t better- what can they do about the pain he is in….The doctor rears up out of his chair, raises both his arms up and says “Whoa! Slow down! I am leaving on vacation in one hour!”

I was so stunned that he said that. Here he was facing a serious wound issue and he was tapping his watch and looking meaningfully at the door. So I said- “What you are saying is you don’t care about Mike because you are leaving in a few minutes for vacation?” Which is what technically he did said without actually saying the words.

He verbally attacked me- WRONG thing to do, because I was tired, stressed, worried, near tears and I knew what he was all about. I insisted that we see Mike’s regular doctor who was still in the building. He said he would see what he could do and slammed out of the room. We then sat there for over 45 minutes until I had just enough and was getting ready to open the door and scream for a nurse to come and wrap Mike’s foot because I was taking him back to Corvallis hospital. Well, I opened the door and here is the doctor standing at the doorway leaning in (I think he was listening to us rant inside the room) Both Mike and I were sooo angry- he said they were bringing a wheelchair so Mike could go and see his regular doctor.

Dr. L was appalled when we told him about his colleague’s behavior. But he was equally as distressed when he saw Mike’s foot and the shape it was in. He asked Mike (he didn’t tell him) to please return to the nursing home until he could make an appointment for him with a surgeon. He said based on the look of the foot and how hot it was, he didn’t feel that anyone but a surgeon would be qualified to tell Mike what needs to be done next. He was kind, caring and an RD- and unfortunately, he is leaving the state in the next few weeks.

So Mike is back at the nursing home waiting to see what is next. I am puzzled as to why his foot is not healing considering the different amounts of antibiotics that have been pumped into his system. But, I am so relieved he is back there, because yes, I can “watch” the foot, except when I have to work- I am not qualified to do anything should the foot get worse at home. The only thing I could do is call 911. As Dr L put it- “Mike, the nurses at the home have a direct line right to me.”

There is hope that the surgeon appointment will be today- but doubtful, just because the staff at that clinic leaves a lot to be desired. Hoping to find a new primary care doctor not in this town, but close by in another. What a mess and poor Mike is just caught up in the whole thing waiting…..

The cats were thrilled to see him home if even for a short while. Where he is now, they have a resident cat who has decided that Mike is okay and has been spending the majority of his time in Mike’s room. The lady who the cat had been staying with before Mike arrived finally gave in the other day and carried the food and water into his room and set it on the extra bed. The cat is a male, white kitty with a short stubby tail (manx cross).

Baron leaves today. Chris will be here at 11:00 to pick him up. My heart is breaking to give up this beautiful German Shepherd that we rescued less than 7 months ago, but I know that Chris will love him and give him the attention he needs to get over what was done to him before he arrived here. She’s done everything right so far in regards to him and her references checked out. She will (as she put it) love “the stuffin right out of him!” She also has a female GSD and recently lost her 14 year old male to nasal cancer. I know it is right to give him up- but it hurts so bad because we have bonded.

I am stopping my rescue of cats now as well. I know I have said this before- but this time it is set in the concrete of my heart. I will be happy to help via the Internet and other means, but actually opening up my home to more cats is over. I want to get down to my main core of 9 cats and I do hope to find homes for all the rest. I found a home for Sinclair the other day and the gal is coming to get him on Sunday. He is my last surviving kitten of this year’s rescues.

Well, it’s 5:00 a.m. and I hear the horses banging on the gate. The cats have converged into the room and I can hear Madison on the stairs crying for her breakfast. It’s time to start another day, I hope I am up for the challenge.

Ahh…the elusive sleep

I have had Baron on PetFinders now for over a week. The hits and interest in this dog are heavy. Because he is such a handsome German Shepherd dog, many people are wanting to adopt him. I met a woman yesterday, she drove all the way down from Salem to meet Baron. Chris is older and I liked her immediately. She is very personable, warm and attentive to Baron. Chris has another female that she also rescued. Her male, she lost recently to nasal cancer and both her and her female are mourning the loss. She wants another male and she liked the look of Baron and was impressed with his traits.

I am so sad to give up this beautiful boy. But, I know that when MIke comes home so much will change and Baron still needs such individual attention to help him overcome his past abuse issues. He and I have bonded and Chris recognized this and commented on it. But it isn’t fair of me to expect Baron to just patrol our property and be content to do so. He needs so much that his last owner was unwilling or unable to give him.

A few hours after Chris left and my friend Fran had phoned her references and given me her input about the home for Baron, I made up my mind. I called Chris and told her Baron was hers anytime she wanted to come and get him. In normal circumstances, I would take him to her home where he would meet all existing dogs and I would see where he will be living, but these are not normal times for me. When I told her she could adopt him, she cried and I knew I had made the right choice- no matter how wrong I feel about losing this boy.

When I got home Sunday night it was well past midnight and my answering machine was blinking crazily. The nursing home had called telling me Mike was threatening to check out AMA (against medicial advice) He was having what one nurse termed “nursing home tantrums” In the morning after a fairly good night’s sleep- I called and spoke to Mike and had some stern words for him. I understand he is going stir-crazy- but I don’t want him home until he is well. He protested that the nurses were lying (doubtful they would ALL lie about this) and said he would stay. What happens now is Thursday I will pick him up take him to the doctor’s and depending on what the doctor says will either bring him home or take him back to the facility.

Today is going to be interesting. We start to build the wheelchair ramp onto the house. A group of church members will be donating the labor as a “community service project.” They believe it will only take them 24 hours to complete it. So it is now 5:00 a.m. and the cats woke me an hour ago. Time to start my day- no matter how much I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for a month or two.

Where have I been?

I’ve been getting emails from those who regularly visit here wondering where I have been. I have been very quiet for many reasons. Mourning the loss of kittens whose moms were owned by people who do not care for their animals as they should be cared for. Kittens snatched early by exposure to FeLV: Twila, Indiana, Jackson, MacBeth, Hamlet, Troy, Triffles, and Grey Ghost. I had five of my cats randomly tested for Feline Leukemia and they came up negative, so I am breathing easier. It was not this house where they got this horrid disease.

I am contemplating my life now that Mike is in a nursing home (temporarily) and understanding that life can change in an instant. I know that as much as I love these cats, I need to stop or scale back my rescue. Financially it is ruining me having these sick ones dumped on me and being responsible to get them up and running and healthy. I owe my vets so much money now that I feel guilty everytime I look at them. They have done so much for me donating their time and drugs at no charge for special cases, but that is hardly fair on them either.

My parents who I have been emailing since Mike became ill, contacted me yesterday- they want to pay off our home! I can’t allow that. It is no one’s fault what happened here. It is life, it is choices- and I emailed them back thanking them but saying no. Unlike most people, I don’t feel that I am entitled to my parents’ money just because I am their daughter. They worked hard their entire life to enjoy their twilight years, and I have no right to expect them to bail me out when things get rough. God will provide a way for me- if I am thinking clearly and IF I am listening to His voice. I told them I loved them for thinking in this respect- and I also told my Mother, who mentioned I needed to scale back my rescue that I had already decided to do so.

I have been comforting adopted families as they deal with the sudden loss of the kittens they had grown to love. Grieving as openly as they are for the demise of these special babies who had so much to give.

I have been working amid the chaos known as the Oregon Jamboree. Fighting for my parking space at work with a drunken driver determined to “git to the festivities” regardless of the fact that she was taking the parking space I needed to do my shift. Ducking thrown beer bottles when a teenage couple soused to the gills decided to take their fight into the parking lot and hurl insults and Miller Lite! What insanity. Two more nights before the town goes back to its boring self.

So life has been busy and my comfort as always have been my cats. I was so thankful that the latest kittens tested negative for FeLV- they were my greatest concern for it is the kittens that are the most susceptible.

And now, I have horse stalls to muck, a garden to water, dogs to feed and cats to corral before I have to go to work-

Take care all of you readers and thank you for worrying about me and asking about the cats- We will be fine. As I told my mom, one thing I do know about myself. I am a survivor.