Mattie- 8-24-07 thru 3-23-09

This morning Mattie took leave of us. Over the last week it has been a struggle for her and she went from a cat fighting to live, to just simply existing.

Her coat looked like she had decided to roll in salad oil, even minutes after a bath. She was constantly licking her lips, she stopped eating and she wouldn’t move for a few days without heavy persuasion. When I would pick her up, it was like picking up a boulder. Instead of being fluid and relaxed in my arms- she was tight and clearly in pain. Brushing her, something she really used to love resulted in me being bit several times, and these were not love bites.

The vet came out last Sunday and took a look at her. He wanted to give her another depo shot (but it was to soon) So he just said to continue doing what we doing, stop the antibiotic (thinking that is why she stopped eating) and bring her in next week for a third shot.

She crawled under the bed last night, and I found her this morning. She was gone- 🙁

I am so sorry girl that you had such a rough life before you arrived here and then not an easy time when you got out of the house and vanished all those months. Thank you for coming back to us and I am sorry we let you down. You deserved so much better than what you ended up with. Say hello to Kodie for me and I hope we meet again, because you are such a wonderful kitty1maddie

I Hope Heaven has Tennis Balls

I sat down on the floor of the cubicle at my vet’s clinic. Kodiak, my almost two year old blue heeler mix settled down next to me. Her eyes were looking right into me and I hugged her neck tightly while I whispered in her ear, “You are such a good girl!” Her 99 pound frame struggled to gain all of my lap- but there just wasn’t room on my lap for her. She already hogged my heart.

Dr Doer came into the room and tried to smile. “Look at that teddy bear of a dog,’ she said softly. I smiled wanly, we had originally named Kodie, Kodiak because when she arrived at our home after being rescued from a meth house, she looked just like a little bear.
But, a teddy bear was a far cry from what she had become in the last six weeks. More appropriate would be a grizzly bear with an aggressive nature that kept rearing its ugly head at any time of the day or night.

I requested a muzzle, knowing full well when the first shot hit its mark, she would attack witih a vengenance before the drug would take effect. She had been muzzled at the vet’s before and she fought briefly my attempts to put it on her.

Prior to this last visit for this special friend, we had shared one last romp in the woods. I had taken her tennis ball with me, and just as a Border Collie is fixated on sheep, Kodie has always been fixated on tennis balls. I threw it for her in the tall grasses until my arm threatened to sue me for pain and suffering. She would run after the ball every time, bringing it back to me then dropping down low to the ground waiting for me to throw it again.

I knew I was stalling and we finally packed it in and headed back to the car. My appointment was at 1:00 and it was almost 1:30 now. But this decision had been difficult, for both Mike and myself, borne of the recent attacks Kodie had launched, first on the gas station attendant, then on Traveler my horse, and lastly on Mike himself. She had been to several vets in our quest to find answers, but none were available. We knew she was in pain, but no one could locate the source of her pain and her aggression grew.

Gone was the loving pup who would bring me my slippers (after she chewed all the lining out of them of course) Her reluctance to move in the late afternoon brought tears to our eyes. Her shoulders would hunch down and she would hug the rug refusing to budge.

When on the rare occassions in the last week we could coax her outside, she would eat more grass than the horses then promptly vomit orange froth all over the ground. Whatever was wrong with her was major. We decided she deserved to leave with dignity, before she really hurt someone badly.

As the needle found her vein, she reared up and were it not for the muzzle securely fastened, I believe the vet would have lost some skin. But then the anesthesia set in and soon the potassium mixture stilled her courageous heart and she was gone.

Goodbye Kodiak, your torment has ended and ours now begins. I hope those disconnected neurons are firing on full cyclinders now and you have joined the rest who went before you.

I found out later this same day that a good friend had also passed away. She was only 24 years old. I have to think that Kodiak was there to escort Hope over the Bridge and into the tall grasses in search of tennis balls to throw.


Brief Encounter

Took Kodie and Gretchen to my favorite forest today for a walk. It was the first time that Gretchen walked without a leash and she did quite well. Mostly, following Kodie. I became sad as we walked for the forest has been destroyed by clear cutting. My favorite paths were blocked by heavy timber and small paths I used to follow had been graveled so that the heavy machinery could get through. It was dismal.

We reached a point in the trail where the path curved downward and rounded a bend. The dogs were running ahead of me a bit, when right at the curve, they both slid to stop and crouched down. As I watched, I saw Kodie’s ruff raise up high enough to rival a moose, and she tucked her tail in tight and began to growl. With no idea of what was around that corner, I whistled them softly back to me, they came with Kodie still growling. Not sure what was behind me, I walked backward for quite awhile, watching closely but nothing pursued us.

It could have been anything, a deer, a wild turkey, a coyote or a fox as it around dusk that we took this walk. i am glad they alerted me though. I well remember the coyote encounter last year and do not wish to have that repeated.

Mattie update

Matt went to the vet this morning for a recheck. She has gained 1 pound 10 oz. since the last visit but her gingivitis isn’t as cleared up as Ben would like it to be. I asked about pulling her teeth, but he said the worst part about Mattie’s condition is that the gingivitis is occurring in the back of her mouth (almost to the passage of the throat, where there are NO teeth. So he has changed her antibiotic and told me to “keep up the good work.”

I brought her home and decided to bathe her. She has all this oily stuff on her fur from the malnutrition and I just wanted to give her a clean slate. ( I normally do not bathe cats, don’t believe in it) God gave them good grooming aids with their tongue. But, this was different. She tolerated the bath better than I expected her to. I think that she enjoyed it as well, especially the towel rubdown at the end. She has been fed, medicated and is now lying on the bed purring. She looks so much better!

Pivotal Day

This morning my last two kitten rescues were neutered. Muddy and Chilkoot are now over 6 months old and they have been clipped, bringing to an end, my rescue of bottle babies. It’s been a lot of years, tears, heartaches and rewards of trying to help kittens gain a foothold to health and find a good home. I know that there are hundreds out there who now are living the good life, or have lived the good life in a home full of love just for them.

While I was at the vet, this man brought in on a harness, a beautiful short-haired gray and white cat. He immediately jumped in my lap (the cat, not the gentleman!) and then climbed on my shoulder and nuzzled in my ear! His owner was surprised and said “You must be a cat person!” I just laughed. I guess that is an understatement.

The man had rescued this kitten from a feral litter and my friend Kelly took him into his home and raised him. Once he was weaned off the bottle, the man took possession of him. He is a sweet, sweet boy who loves the harness. His name is Lincoln and he is 3 years old.

I go to pick up Muddy and Chilly in a few minutes then it is off to work. I am sure they will be fine. I will put them into the bedroom for a few days as I attempt to keep them “quiet!” LOL You cannot keep these kittens quiet, they are enrolled in Kitty Kamakazee Kamp!

It is snowing here and windy.

Sad Passing

Stryker, the horse attacked by the pits did not survive. He was humanely euthanized at OSU yesterday. I am so incredibly sad for Kathi. I know how much she cherished him and she lost her other horse a few years ago. I don’t know what else to say but that these dogs are dangerous when they “pack up.” One on one, they might be “pussycats” but these three were roaming free and look what happened as a result? It breaks my heart to know my friend has lost her courageous boy.

Bad breeds

Yesterday, a good friend of mine had her horse attacked by three stray pit bulls. The dogs proceeded to attack her Mustang. Stryker now has over 200 bites all over his legs, flanks, underbelly and neck. Hopefully the vet was called in time and any infection was stopped at the source. Animal control has taken possession of the dogs. Kathi has never seen the dogs before yesterday.

I am not for banning any breeds, but I certainly wish they would castrate the owners of these pits who allowed these dogs to get to this extreme. If it were my horse that was set upon, I do not know what I would have done. I do know, I would petition for the dogs to be euthanized and the owners (if located) held accountable for the large vet bill that now looms overhead.

Computer Woes

Thanks to Hurricane Charlie. my computer is hosed up a bit. I hope this posts because Charlie baptized my power supply to my computer and my emails and other aspects of my computer are not working right. One thing about living with so many cats is the battle of the cat pee is always so challenging. Mike went and bought a new hard drive today and he will be installing it tomorrow. My screen is flickering, i need to go