Are you frustrated that most products on the market claiming to rid your litter pans of offensive odors fall short? Are you tired of spraying, shaking, pouring powders and sprays into your clean litter only to find they overpower the odor or mask it instead of eliminating the odor?

I HIGHLY recommend you take a look at CrystalxFreshKitty by Smart Energetics.

I will admit when I first learned of this product, I was skeptical. How could an UNSEALED bottle work to control odor simply by being placed in or near your cat’s dry or canned food? But, with thirty litter boxes to maintain within my cat sanctury (and times when I wish I had a HazMat suit to help me with my chores) I decided to give CrystalxFreshKitty a try.

My test subjects: 11 newly-rescued kittens some fighting a bad bacterial infection which made the litter pans at times over-the-top odorous.

I was instructed to place the bottles still unsealed, one into a 6 gallon bucket of kitten food (the kibble poured out of the bag.) The second bottle went (unsealed) on the shelf next to the canned kitten food.

In one week, there was a noticeable difference in the clean-up of the litter pans in the bedroom. No more watery eyes or gasping for breath, the job became a breath of fresh air. I went from skepticism to amazement with a great deal of gratitude mixed in. Litter pan patrol was no longer tedious. I could throw away the surgical masks I wore when scooping and cleaning the pans (the masks fogged up my glasses anyway!)

CrystalxFreshKitty does not harm your cat. Don’t ask me how it works- save that question for the experts who came up with this formula after thirty years of research at Smart Energetics. I am told it has something to do with Quantum Physics. But I am not a scientist just someone who loves cats and cares for a large amount of cats and (of course) their litter pans.

I am a fan folks and I now use this product with all my cats. The freshness in the house is noticeable. No one knocks on my front door any more and sniffs the air suspiciously before venturing inside- and that makes me smile.

It is one thing to run a non-profit cat sanctuary out of your home and quite another for that home to smell like you don’t even own one cat!

Saturday Mews

Late last night the surgeon called with apologies for calling so late. Seems he has had some complicated surgeries lately- even more complicated than Mike’s! At any rate, he said that the MRI does not show what he feared it would; that Mike has osteomylitis and the infection has spread. It just showed him that Mike is so mired down in the diabetes that his body is very slow to heal. So- Mr. Mike keeps his legs, doesn’t need to go on any long-term antibiotic program for the rest of his life and I get to start taking care of his leg instead of wound care. Dr L agreed that weekly opening the wounds, scraping, taking cultures, pouring their bleach mixture over it- just might be a tad irritating! Ya think?

I found some stuff on the Internet to put on it and I am running out of the samples sent. The medicine is prohibitely expensive even if it is just over the counter so I will just use what I have left and hope for the best. How expensive? you might be thinking? Try $1,32.50 for 3 grams! I do believe that is out of my reach- but the stuff is amazing and now that I can put it on him all the time- it just might turn this situation around. I did write the company an impassioned plea for more samples, but haven’t heard back.

Twinkles went to a new home this morning. My friend Amanda who lives in Washington took him to live in her sanctuary. She only rescues declawed kitties. She has a lovely place for them to spend their time until she finds suitable homes. I told her about Twinks and she said she would pick him up. He couldn’t be in better hands.

I spent the night with a friend last night

The kitten is not even 6 months old but someone in their infinite wisdom (insert sarcasim here) decided a four-paw tendenectomy was in order (although a spay was not.) Someone dumped her at Sankey Park a known hang-out for druggies and low-lifes although it never used to be.

I call her Twinkletoes and she is scared and defenseless. Her claws have been cut so they cannot retract or extend. She walks gingerly across the floor although the vet says that there is no infection or problem.

As she lay cuddled in my robe, I turned on a favorite CD of mine. One I have mentioned in the past and available at The musician is so talented and over the years as we have emailed each other, I have found a friend. Her music soothes the tired ones, gives rest for the weary and comfort to the sick. I settled down on the floor cushions and Twinkles and I listened to her music fill the room.

Twinkles soon relaxed and as the music softly played, many of Diane’s song took me back to time long past. Of YMCA Camp and eager campers tumbling off the bus- returnees from the year before. Looking eagerly at the counselors who waited, looking for their favorite counselors so they can play catch-up before being assigned cabins. I was at first one of the campers- shy on my first summer at Camp Conrad then growing bold enough to enter the CIT program and become a Counselor in Training as the summers rolled on. My girls surrounded me and group hugs were exchanged. It was a peaceful time and Diane’s rendition of Kumbayah takes me back to campfires and reverent music.

Oh Shenedoah transports me back to 7th grade honor choir and Dr. David Fogel who took us on a field trip to see David Wilkerson speak at Melodyland Christian Center. The schools at the time were in unrest. There was talk about socialists coming in and trying to transform the students into robots instead of being free-thinking individuals. Campus Crusade for Christ was formed and swamped the schools with the 4 spiritual laws, and that is when I met the Lord and invited him into my life.

The stress of the day fades for me and the uncertainty of this lovely little girl also dissolved. I can feel her relax deep into my chest and for the first time since arriving, she began to purr-

So I spent the night with a friend last night. Someone I would love to meet in real time but I will remain eternally grateful that this woman beset by her own health issues has decided to share her talent with the world.

If anyone wonders what a tendonectomy looks like- look close. The claws are clipped way back, unable to move but they still grow so claw trimming is essential or the claws will grow down into the pad.


Another Story…

Entering the third week of treatment with Mike, I settle back in my chair to wait. I find it ironic that Mike is considered a patient now. That term should apply to the folks who are lined up in chairs waiting for their loved ones to come through the door of treatement while trying to remain patient!

Sitting here week after week, people have come to share their stories with me. Lucy, a young bride in her twenties still shows bewilderment in her green eyes when she tells me that soon after they wed, her husband woke up one morning unable to talk or swallow! As he is only a few years older than she was, she thought at first he had ate something that disagreed with him because she says ruefully- “I don’t cook yet, we do a lot of take-out.” But a trip to the ER that morning revealed an uglier truth. He had oral cancer and it had advanced in a very quick manner infiltrating his throat and lungs. “He never smoked anything. Lucy whispered to me as her eyes filled with tears. “Legal or illegal. We just couldn’t understand.”

They had met in high school, briefly dated and then re-met in college and fell in love. Their plans were to travel the world and Brad wanted to be a travel writer. Lucy loves kite boarding. Now she is reduced to pushing him around in a wheel chair and six times a day pushing fluids down the feeding tube he now has planted in his stomach.

Last week as we sat together, she grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I looked up from my book and she was crying. She told me that she had woken up early that morning and walked out to the living room. Brad was passed out on pain meds and the house was quiet.
“I sat on the couch and grabbed a quilt and a pillow.” She told me. “I put the quilt over my head, pressed the pillow to my face and cried and screamed for a long time. I am spent.” Then the tears started to really flow; “I didn’t sign up for this.” She said. “I don’t know if I can take any more.” Brad was wheeled out the doors at the moment and I was left with so many words unsaid between the two of us. I pray that she finds the strength she needs to figure out how to deal with each day.

The waiting room is vibrant with color and design. A jigsaw puzzle waits on the table for the more patient of us to finish it. Oragami swans parade across the room- created by local high school students. Scent covered plastic bracelets are available for sale $2.00 apiece. I find it ironic that the one that is emblazoned with the word “Caretaker” is scented in plum. “Is that for plumb worn out? I ask the receptionist who laughs and says “Probably it is.”

So we settle in our chairs. Some of us pass the time texting, reading, one woman knits a scarf. Others stare into space, caught in thought or prayer- who is to know. Me, I write. I stay in my corner with Brandi at my feet waiting for the next story to come along. I get the feeling that many of them want to talk about their experiences but lack the courage. Perhaps in finding a stranger with a supporting shoulder and an ear might open up a dam of emotions best left untouched. But Brandi is a good converstation piece and she brings people closer to me and so I sit and wait.

Early Morning Encounter

It is 6:00 a.m when I reach the trail-head. Brandi jumps out of the truck, she is ready for action. Her tail is held high, ears are perked and since the oppressive heat of the day hasn’t hit yet, the air is still cool from the night. I lock the truck, grab my can of Mace, and off we go.

The trail is flat, Cascade Timber has come in long ago and beaten out the path to the big trees. The way is rocky and I see bird tracks scattered in the dirt. Up ahead, are a few jackrabbits, but my command to Brandi, one that she knows well “NO CHASE!” is obeyed and the rabbits scurry off unmolested into the underbrush. She turns to look at me with her soulful German Shepherd eyes, as if to say, “Please Mom? Just one chase?” I laugh, reach down and pet my obedient hound, and throw her a nearby stick instead. She dearly loves to run.

Now the trail takes a somewhat steep ascent. I look up the trail and consider going home, my legs aren’t what they used to be, and by the time I get to the top of trail, I will be puffing like a steam engine! But, the trail is shaded at the moment in the shadows of the tall pines, so I decide that I can do this climb. Brandi is ahead of the game, her tail is waving a short distance ahead, so making that my focal point, I forge ahead.

I notice there are animal bones stripped of meat and bleached in the sun scattered about, and there is a pale lump of something off to the side of the path. I whistle Brandi to my side, put her on the heel command and together we cautiously approach the object.

At first I have a hard time discerning what it is I am seeing. But as we come up on it, I can tell it is the remains of a porcupine that must of met with a creature mightier than it’s elaborate defense shield. It has been there for quite some time, the bones have pulled away in weather and the quills are dried and almost turn to dust at my touch.” Poor thing,” I mutter to myself. I have always admired porcupines. Brandi and I continue on, and I utter a prayer thanking God that the remains are not fresh, so the threat of other predators is no longer present.

I finally reach the top, and yes, just like I feared, I am blowing like a steam engine. I stop to catch my breath and gaze out on the vista below. As far as my eye can see, there are pine trees and spruces stretching their branches to the sky. Lupine, mustard grass, wildflowers pop their heads out everywhere. The path curves downward and vanishes into the shaded forest. The dirt fades, replaced by a carpet of moss, and long grasses. I whistle to B-Dog who has discovered something interesting under a rock, and off we go.

Jackrabbits scurry off the path and out of sight. Birds startled by our approach take wing, and it is a peaceful time of reflection and thought. There is another curve in the trail and again, the trail leads up yet another hill. “Great”, I mutter to myself, “now my legs will really love me in the morning!” But it is such a nice morning and I don’t want to turn back now. I check my watch and see that we have been walking for an hour! Where has the time gone? Brandi is now staying by my side, I notice she is on high alert, but I assume that the passing scent of skunk we keep getting a whiff of was distracting her.

Before we reach the top of the rise, I heard something that I could not place. A sound, a hollow sound, like a whistle, or a soft roar, or the gentle whoosh of the waves when they hit the sand. I stop to listen, to try and define this unique noise. B stopped and her ears were up, the ruff on the back of her neck was also up and she was on full alert. She had even stopped panting, as if she was trying to help me and be quiet while I identified the sound. I stood and listened and the sound got louder, but not nearer. I hadn’t a clue what it was, or even how to describe it, so very slowly, I continued my way up the hill.

At the last curve before we reached the top, I saw him. A huge buck, he was standing there majestic with his rack spread out. From his many points, I knew he was an old gent, who had somehow managed to escape all the hunters and trappers. His coat was flecked with sweat. He had run quite a ways, and the sound I heard, was his breathing. His sides heaved in and out, and his nostrils flared. Brandi growled, and I quietly told her to “QUIT!” The old gent lowered his head slowly until it was just inches from the ground. Then he shook his mighty rack in defiance of our intrusion. I grabbed B’s collar and slowly, we backed away. Before he vanished from sight, this old man of the forest lifted his head and relaxed his posture and out of the trees trotted a doe and a late fawn. I stopped transfixed and watched this family move off at a quick pace, leaping over logs and vanishing instantly. All that was left was the sound I heard before, of the old gent blowing in the wind.

Quietly, I turned around and told B, “Come on girl, it’s time to go home.” We headed back to the truck away from this magical place. I vowed to try and do this walk at least a few times a week- because for the first time in a long while, I almost, for a brief second- felt like a human again.

Early Morning Drop-off

McGee is back at the vet this morning. His paw is incredibly swollen almost three times the size it should be and quite hot. He has no fever and still has a ravenous appetite. I have no clue what happened. If the cats are fighting they are doing it when we aren’t home because I hear any scuffle that goes on. He’s not a fighter and that baffles me, plus there are no new cats in the house to cause friction. Maybe it is something they missed before from the last incident?

Not what we wanted to hear-

There is a strong possibility that Mike has osteomylitis. An MRI has been ordered to give the doctor more detail about what is going on with the foot. If he does have this infection, there are only two options for him; lifelong antibiotic treatment or cutting off the leg right under the knee to get rid of all the infection.

We were long at the doctor’s today as they were being very thorough about his foot and leg. I don’t know when the MRI will be done- but I hope it will soon as waiting in suspense is never good on anyone’s nerves.

Mike’s foot

This morning, I unwrapped his foot after leaving it alone (per instructions from wound care) for a week. His foot looks horrible- it is so swollen, red and would be painful if he could even feel his foot. We go to see the original surgeon today and I know he is going to be distressed at the look of the foot. I thought we had reached a clearing here and he was getting better- but it looks pretty bad this morning.

There is so much smoke in the air this morning. Over 35 wildfires here in Oregon- the closest to us is over the mountain in Sisters, but that doesn’t stop the smoke and haze from coming over the pass. My friend called me last night, she had to evacuate all 6 of her horses and her 10 goats off her ranch. She doesn’t know if the ranch will be standing when she is allowed back- it is pretty scary. She hauled her livestock to her brother’s home in Yakima WA and all she can do now is watch the news report and worry. She’s lived in her ranch for over 60 years so my fingers are crossed that her ranch isn’t going to go up in flames.

Braveheart keeps darting out of the bedroom and I keep patiently catching him and putting him back. I can just see him get hurt either by the other cats or by one of us. Kittens as small as he is, they are so fast and can get stepped on in a second’s notice. He gave me quite a talking to this morning when I picked him up (yet again) and put him back into the room. He’s looking at me like “Mom, I want to go and play with the big kids!” Bless his purry little heart.

My mom and dad’s anniversary is approaching-They were married in 1944! Wish I could go and see them but Mike can’t make the trip and I can’t leave him or the cats for very long.

Well, Tandem and Axle are shredding yesterday’s mail so I best go and rescue our bills. I told Mike we should have called these two kitties Shredder and Trouble! LOL

Everyone have a good day, be good to each other and hug your cat-

Start of Week Two of Radiation Treatment

They told me that Mike wouldn’t see any side effects of the treatment for at least three weeks, but they were wrong. He is sleeping most of the day now wrapped up in wooly blankets (although outside it is near 90 degrees) His skin appears paler then before, but that could just be my overly-concerned reaction to the stress he is under.

On the kitty front- I have two going in for spays on the 20th then CATS is financially tapped out (again) Leaves the 4 survivors in the bedroom plus two more who escaped the wrath of feline distemper to do. If anyone would like to sponsor one of these survivors, please let me know. As always, the donation is tax-deductible and very much needed. the spays are $120.00 the neuters $90.00- I have tapped out my quota on the spay and neuter certificates delegated from a local shelter.

Braveheart, the largest of the toxic litter is asserting his authority. He keeps scampering out of the bedroom every time I open the door. He wants to play with the big kids- though I doubt they would be so tolerant of such a pipsqueak trying to take over the nest! He is such a charmer and when I pick him up, he snuggles quickly under my chin and purrs himself to sleep. It does my heart good to see them playing and eating and using the litter pan with normal results after all the horrific experiences they have endured.

Mike’s foot has yet to heal and lately it has started looking a bit nasty. I called the attention of the wound care clinic to the changes so they cultured it and found MYRSA plus two more types of staph growing. 🙁 They have put him on a super-antibiotic so I have increased the amount of yogurt with active cultures I am giving to him. He has at this time lost 68 pounds since his surgery and we are hoping this trend will continue.

Well, it is laundry day and I still have to wash his sweats. He is unable to wear jeans yet as when he does the material causes his legs to bleed. Sweats are kinder to his skin.

That’s the news from here- broke, but happy to be here and have these wonderful cats around to take the stress level down-