But Joy Comes in The Morning…..

Every Saturday night for the past month at 10:22pm sharp Chad and I observe what has become a sacred ritual; we bow our heads and thank the Lord for giving us Cathy Cat for as long as she lived. We also pray for Phoebe that she would adjust to our eventual new addition to our family; a kitten.

Why 10:22 PM? It was in that moment that our precious cat’s heart stopped beating this side of heaven as she passed peacefully over the Rainbow Bridge.

Losing a pet sucks. Especially when you consider them a member of your family. Your child.

And I slipped into a depression that I hadn’t expected. It was awful. I didn’t even have the strength to blog.

Feelings of guilt, sadness, and grief freely flowed through me.

The guilt? Thinking that I, Cathy Cat’s primary caregiver, did something wrong to cause her death.

It got so bad that Chad and I went to a session of grief counseling. I have no shame over this and encourage anyone that has experienced the loss of a fur baby to consider talking to a professional if you feel like you need some extra help navigating your feelings.

So after we lost Cathy Cat, we had a hole in our family. In a way we always will. But in the meantime we wanted to expand our family to include a little furry bundle of joy. So last Saturday, this little guy joined our crazy family.

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Mr. Riley Bean is 10 weeks old and all kitten. He’s added so much energy to our house. And JOY. SO much joy! You can’t help but smile when a 10 week old kitten frantically tears around the room playing hockey with a Cheerio. It never occurs to him to eat it, thankfully.

All this last month, I’ve been thinking about the verse in the Bible about pain only lasting for a night, but joy comes in the morning. This has been SO true for us. Riley Bean is our true joy and we thank the Lord daily for him.

Dear reader, if you have ever lost a pet and are in mourning, take heart. The Lord cares for your hurt and will restore your heart.

“But joy comes in the morning!”

**Special thanks to S-R Images for doing Riley’s first baby photoshoot and providing a photo for today’s blog.  If you’d like to book them for your next event, find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/esrimages/?fref=ts

The Heavenly Bridge……

On Saturday night at 10:22 pm, we said goodbye to our oldest cat, our beloved furry penguin, as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge into the arms of Jesus.

If you’ve ever had to say an abrupt goodbye to a furbaby, you understand how hard this has been.

I’ll be doing another blog on this subject soon-ish.

Remember dear reader, you are never alone, even in your grief.

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To our furry penguin:

We’ll love you forever.
We’ll like you for always.
As long as we’re living,
Our baby you’ll be.

*The above poem originally appeared in Robert Munch’s book, “Love You Forever” and is adapted from the original version.

 

Saturday Bonus Blog: Unicorns and Fairies…..

We observed a first in our house the other night. I was taking a bath with the bathroom door open. That wasn’t the first. Midway through my spa session, in waltzed the oldest cat. She walked right up to the tub and leaned her front paws on the cold linoleum, leaning her face close to the water.

I froze. Secretly regretting that my phone was in the other room and this Kodak moment would not be memorialized. I was however, brave enough to drip some water on her head just to see what she’d do.

She just stared at me.  It was awkward.

Then she jumped down on the floor and walked away. I wasn’t sure what had just happened because I had never seen her do that before. It was like a winged fairy had rode into the bathroom on the back of a unicorn and I was just supposed to act as if it were normal.

After my bath I wondered if she’d do it again. Today was my lucky day:

cathy cat in bathtub.....

Now mind you, this happened after the tub had fully drained, but before the drain plug had been replaced.

After calling in Chad to, “Come and behold this event that has happened in our bathroom,” we whipped out the camera, took a few photos and even shot a video.

Then I began to panic. Much like my own mother did when my sister drank toilet water for the first time. She knows now, after a frantic call to Poison Control, that straight toilet water from a clean toilet, while not the most appetizing, isn’t inherently dangerous. And my sister is still alive. But the first time it happens can be quite traumatic.

Yes, our kid is the one that stuck her face right into the drain and started licking stuff. I managed to get her out by turning on the faucet, deeming the tub no longer fun to play in. After she was safe, I closed the bathroom door and called the after-hours emergency vet (Best. Invention. Ever.).

After explaining our predicament and consulting with the doctor, we have determined that she’ll probably live. I just need to keep watching her and make sure she drinks enough water.

And possibly invest in a kiddie pool where she can frolic.

Lord have mercy!

PS: Because we live in a country that is quickly growing more litigious by the moment, it behooves me to offer this word of caution when it comes to toilet water and your child. As much as you can, try to keep your child’s face away from the toilet so they don’t ingest water. Especially if you use one of those deodorizer cleaning things that hooks onto the bowl.

Lulabelle.net and WordPress are in no way responsible for the consequences of your child thinking parts of today’s entry would be a fun activity to do on a rainy Tuesday.

This concludes the legally binding clause of today’s blog.

 

When 50% Isn’t a Bad Average……Treating Your Cats for Fleas…..

Now before anyone freaks out, no we don’t have fleas. Once a month we give the girls a topical treatment that is intended to prevent those little buggers from jumping on to our furry penguin and squirrel and causing their hair to fall out.

This month has been a bit crazy so far, I know we are only 4 days in and it’ll probably get worse from here on out, so it wasn’t until today that we attempted to treat them. I say attempted because with two cats that are averse to having anything foreign on their skin, it can be an activity that takes a good while. With no guarantee that you’ll be completely successful.

There is really no preparation you can do for this aside from making sure you have the product at the ready before applying it to the cat’s neck. After application, if you can get that far, expect your furry companion to run away and only come out to feed, drink and poop, making sure to walk past you each time with a look in their eye that says, “I know what you did and you may want to sleep with one eye open from now on!”

So after the oldest was successfully treated, we turned our attention to the youngest. Who unfortunately saw what just happened with the oldest, decided she wasn’t gonna let that happen to her, and started making her escape. I almost had her as she rounded the corner out of the bedroom, but I swear scared, running cats are like greased watermelon, with claws and noodley spines, that can contort and squeeze through the tiniest of spaces.

The tiniest space in question was the space between my elbow and the floor. Which she managed to navigate like a freakin’ ninja.

Before I had a chance to pursue her again, there was a sudden loss of bladder control from one of the participants which I’m sure was all a strategically timed move to distract me from getting her treatment.

It’s all fun and games until someone pees the floor.

So as I shifted my focus to that floor clean up, Chad and I abandoned our quest.

Until we meet again tomorrow. I should probably try using The Force.

Stayed tuned. 😛

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Honey, I Shrunk The Cat-Feline Weightloss Update Part 4……

The following poem has nothing to do with our topic of the day, except it involves our oldest cat. I just thought you’d be interested in her current digestive woes. #yourewelcome 😉

“Roses are red,
  violets are blue,
  the oldest just puked
  into mommy’s dress shoe”…………..

Happy Tuesday, y’all! Ok, not sure if there was a part 3 to this series, but I’m sticking with the title.

So let’s do a recap of the last month: We took in our oldest cat to get checked out by the vet. We were sure she had lost weight, but she had actually gained. After feeling like the worst parents on the planet we hunkered down and followed the vets advice. We fed smaller portions into smaller bowls (I hoped this would trick our cats into thinking they were getting more than they were getting).

One month in, things are going pretty well. We were told that we could bring her in to the vet to be weighed at no charge anytime, but we haven’t done that yet. Night shift scheduling is really kickin’ our booty and it’s stressful for her to go in the car back and forth.

But we had a brainstorm. We thought, “Oh, we’ll just weigh her at home because we have a bathroom scale! That should TOTALLY work, right?”

This is how well that actually worked out:

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Yeah, she didn’t understand that she actually needed to stand on the scale in order for it to get an accurate reading.

So we have no idea how much she has lost, but we are beginning to see some definition in her hind quarters instead of just a big uni-bum, so that’s something.

Another weird thing that has happened is that she’s not eating as much. Like her metabolism has adjusted to the new portion and she’s no longer frantically demanding more food when she’s out.

In fact as of a week or so ago, she’s no longer eating all her food during meals.

Guys, apparently she has gone on a hunger strike.

Why?

Well, she just found out that her presidential candidate of choice, Limberbutt, will not be on the ballot come November. Even after I explained that because Limberbutt was a cat and therefore didn’t have a social security number, he was ineligible to run. Which led into a discussion of what a social security number was and how you have to have one to even vote for president.

That further bummed her out because she was looking forward to participating in this thing we call democracy. So she decided to take drastic action and go on a hunger strike. Until cats everywhere are able to vote for the candidate of their choice….no matter how many legs they have or how furry they may be.

Or until she’s really hungry again.

God Bless America!

The Saga of the Spoon…..

**A caveat for today to help you understand my state of mind at the moment: I woke up this afternoon (still on night shift-don’t judge 😉 ) and definitely felt off. Like I know Aunt Flow is fixing to arrive soon. Oh, she’s not here yet, hasn’t dropped her luggage, but she’s definitely circling the area 😛 **

Let me break down what just happened at our house. I was hungry. Really I was pretty hangry and had to take a few moments and breaths and had to try and remedy the situation by grabbing a can of soup from our pantry and a spoon from the kitchen drawer.

Then I sat down in our living room next to my purse that had exploded earlier and I hadn’t had time to put it back together. I grabbed my spoon and dug into the soup of rigatoni and sausage goodness.

And slowly began to feel human again.

So, happy in my new found human-ness, I sent some important emails, watched a couple YouTube videos and then it happened.

I glanced down at the floor and made a horrific discovery; the spoon I had gotten out of our kitchen drawer was still lying on the floor, unused.

WHAT had I used to eat my soup?? :-O

As it turns out, it definitely was a spoon…..but one that I’m pretty sure the cat had licked pumpkin off of earlier in the day.

Gross-a-Roo! 😛

Since I didn’t notice I had eaten off the cat-spit spoon till after my soup was gone, I’ve decided that maybe catspit has healthy junk in it that may benefit me.

Yeah. That sounds legit. 😉

Cheers!

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I told Queen Elizabeth the spoon story and her face went like that. Image appears courtesy of: http://www.reactionface.info/face/queen-unimpressed

Feline Weight Loss Update & I Tell You What I Have For Breakfast….

We are in, what, week 3 of operation Honey I Shrank the Cat (naturally by healthy food and small portions). Things are going well. We are slowly getting used to smaller portion sizes and set meal times. We haven’t quite figured out that both bowls of food in front of us are not all for us, but we are learning. And we’ve discovered the wonders of canned pumpkin.

When we initially went to the vet several weeks ago, they recommended we give the oldest canned pumpkin to give her more fiber. The hiccup in the plan is that she isn’t fond of wet food, so I was skeptical that she’d want canned pumpkin.

I was very pleasantly surprised. She lapped it up lickety-split. She takes a teaspoon twice a day, so there is quite a lot left over, but I’ve found a solution for that.

The first time I gave her the canned pumpkin, I got to thinking that if it helped cats bowels, perhaps it’d do the same for people. I put a spoonful in my cheerios the next day, and sure enough, I got the results I wanted. 😉

So since then I’ve improved upon my concoction and today I thought I’d share it with you. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Pumpkin Spice Cheerios (dear Cheerios makers, I know you have more than half a dozen flavors of Cheerios and it’s really only a matter of time before you hop on the pumpkin spice train, but when you do, can you do me a solid and credit me and my blog? Thanks! 😛 ) :

Pour some Cheerios into a bowl. Top with a generous dollop of canned pumpkin and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the top. Add milk and enjoy your fiberous breakfast creation!

Cheers!

Cup Size Matters……A Feline Weighloss Story Part III

Yesterday I ran across an entry I had written several months ago about trying to help our cats, especially the oldest, slim down. I actually offered tips on how to do it with food modification and exercise. I was pretty proud of myself for offering such wonderful tips.

Turns out the me from a few months ago when the entry was written didn’t know jack. Specifically when it comes to portion size and proper measurements. I really should have seen this coming, I mean, math and numbers have never been my strong suit. But it wasn’t until this last trip to the vet that I realized how big of a mistake I was making with regards to proper portions.

Just take a look:

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The scoop on the left is what we have always used. The scoop on the right is what we are supposed to use.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is a big *ss difference!

Now in my defense I’ve only been filling up the bigger scoop halfway for the last few months…..but that’s still way too much!! 😛 When we recently made the switch to the smaller cup (it’s a 1/4th cup), I measured the old cup (it has no measurement marks on it) and discovered that it was not just one full cup, but a cup AND A HALF!!! (Eh, probably more like two, I kinda eyeballed it when I compared our actual one cup measure-because apparently I need to feel worse about this situation 😛 )

So that is where we are. This whole feline weight-loss thing is a practice of trial and lots of error. So if you are trying to get your chubby fur-kid to lose weight, take heart. Just keep consulting with your vet and follow through with their advice. Forgive yourself for mistakes made and go forward with confidence. You got this. I have faith in you. 😉

Cheers!

Living in Denial and Accepting Reality: Suck it up, Buttercup….A Feline Weightloss Story….



Y’all remember when I announced after getting back from a one-week vacation last summer that our oldest cat had, during the week, visibly lost weight??

Yeah. About that…..

So we took her in to be checked out this past weekend because I’d noticed that she had a few patches of fur that were unusually thin. And they were offering free flea consultations (try and say that three times fast) and free is in our budget.

While at the vet it was discovered after being weighed that…..well…..she had actually gained weight. She is supposed to be between 8-9 lbs.

She weighed 15.16 lbs.

W…..T…..F…… (F stands for feline, what else did you think it meant? 😉  )

So my mommy brain had the following conversation with the vet tech (All in my head. It was also one-sided):

ME: What do you mean she’s 15.16lbs???? Your scale must be broken. Maybe you can’t read numbers. Did you really graduate from vet school?? How dare you call my baby fat.

STILL ME: You’re fat. #cheapshot

Yeah, sometimes I can get a smidge defensive when you talk about my kids. Most of the time this defensiveness remains in my head, but there have been a few times that it’s leaked out of my mouth in an edited, pleasant manner that still gets my point across.

Don’t you dare call my kid fat! 😛

After getting recommendations on weight-loss strategies, we went home. And I was faced with reality……

Our oldest cat is overweight. So much so that according to the vet, she can’t properly groom herself. And I could either blame others for hurting my feelings, or I could suck it up, admit that we have to make some changes, then follow through.

And I’m pretty proud of myself 72 hours later. I’ve modified the amount of food I give each cat and we are no longer “free-feeders” meaning we don’t put a bunch of food in a bowl in the morning and leave it all day. I now put in a little at a time twice a day and less if they haven’t eaten it all.

So far so good as today has been the first day we’ve done this where I’ve even left the house for a few hours and came back to find the oldest had eaten half of her portion, whilst the youngest hadn’t touched hers. After a brief one-on-one come-to-Jesus meeting with the hold-out, I did convince her to eat again. 

So, if your trip to the vet has netted some unsavory news about your fur-baby, take heart, you are not alone. Now, drop kick that steaming bag of defensiveness to the ground, suck it up and focus on how much less cat food you will go through in a month after doling out a reasonable-sized portion for your non-mutant cat.

Cheers!

Fat-Cat-Meme

*Meme highlighting the desperate need for cat-sized running shoes for overweight cats appears courtesy of: funnyand.com