A lot has been going on around here, and Mom’s schedule has changed again, so she has pretty much screwed up our whole routine. We don’t like it one little bit. So now for some updates…
A neighbor moved in two doors down with one of those big barky things- a big black barky dog who keeps running loose in our back yard- he keeps eating the food that the Can Opener puts out for my (still feral) Mom- even though she keeps watching for him so she can stop him from getting it. Sheba and I are trying to chase him away- because he’s not supposed to be loose in our neighborhood anyway- but the girl who owns him just lets him roam when the management around here goes home for the day.
Mom doesn’t like it at all, because when the Critters go outside, we never know if that dog will suddenly be set free to fly all over the yard while they’re playing- and he’s big enough to knock down either of the Critters if he was inclined to. Also the boyfriend of the girl also is cruising around in our backyard every evening trying to find the dog or chase him home. One day she opened the back door and the dog (wearing a leash) was standing there alone- just about to try to get in our back door.
Mom has also been busier with her Sister- who just got some bad news from her doctor- and the Critters are here more often as well because of their schedule changes- they’re both doing great- the not-so-tiny one is in gymnastics now and was just admitted to a class that is more advanced and prepares her for competition! They both are also doing great in school – and The Can Opener loves teaching them- but I don’t like that she chases me off their books and makes me let go of their pencils!
And now a word from my sponsor….(the Can Opener)
The Critters’ Dad has been unable to eat much for a couple of months and had to sleep sitting up- and after several visits to the Doctor and ER, finally someone actually made it a priority to do some tests and discovered that he has been suffering from an ulcer! We are all relieved that now he finally has an answer to what’s been causing him so much misery and I am so relieved that no cancer was found.
Nobody said ‘cancer’ – but after what we went through last year, It was constantly on our minds- (especially since symptoms and pain reminded us so much of what my husband was enduring for the last year and a half while the doctors kept passing him around like a tennis ball). When my husband finally had developed a blood clot in his leg and was rushed to the hospital- that is when finally (the doctors at the hospital), after hearing our story and how long he had been suffering, decided to find out for themselves what was wrong and finally we had the diagnosis – stage 4 cancer – (and an ulcer).
We are so grateful that he has an answer and can begin healing now and to know that no cancer was found! To those who have regularly followed this blog- I apologize for the long absence- thank you for stopping by and for your prayers for our family! Hopefully I can get a routine going again soon- you are all loved and appreciated!
Last Monday the internet went out (heavy rain & winds). Tuesday I was hit with the worst migraine I’ve ever had – (and I don’t get them often). It started with sudden visual disturbances while I was helping my sister with some things- and within an hour it felt like my head was in a nut cracker. This went on until Saturday night – accompanied by a stiff neck (which still hurts).
Saturday also marked one year since my husband passed, and when I woke up I was flooded with all the memories and feelings that accompanied the events.
Wednesday, Jan.18 (continued from previous writing)…
The kids had decided we’d all get together and call it “Dad plaid day” – we would all wear plaid shirts in his honor since he loved wearing them- and then spend the day together having fun and doing “dad” things, then go to his favorite restaurant before heading home to play games and do manicures with the little ones.
That part I was excited about- (although I’ve never had a plaid shirt in my entire life and would have to get one).
We also collectively decided that from this time forward, we would no longer remember and refer to January 14 as the day of his death, but as his “first birthday in Heaven.”
But when I woke up that morning I found myself sitting on the bed thinking how unreal it was that it had been a year- yet it still felt like it was only yesterday. As I opened the curtains and looked out the bedroom window, I remembered again the sight of the funeral directors taking him away for the last time and I felt the wave of sorrow hovering again. But immediately I began to feel something else that overshadowed it. A gentle, comforting nudge from the Lord reminding me of His Presence – and this scripture;
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18NLT
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so that you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.“
With this I was asked to give my grief to him- and receive the joy of the Lord in its place- (Nehemiah 8:10). I realized then that I was going to be able to go forward that day and enjoy the day with my kids by leaving behind the shadows of death – and rejoicing that I am alive – and I am not alone- or abandoned!
I also am mindful that I am not the only one grieving a loss of a spouse- or child (God forbid), or other loved one. So many are in this place of sorrow as well- and for me a year has now passed – and yet the pain, sorrow, and effects of grief still try to hang on. For others it is more recent- but I’m sharing these things with you all to let you know that whatever it is you’re facing- there is someone who understands what you’re feeling -(even when you can’t express it)- and there is light to be found- even in this darkness. You are not alone.💚
Come unto Me, you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The last time I posted, I had hardly published what I had written when my sister called again, crying, and saying -“it’s happening again!” I dropped everything and went to her house immediately, and this time I knew it wasn’t going to just pass on its own.
I had been taking care of her when these things happened, but this time I could see how hard her heart was pounding from the front door. I pulled up the heart monitor on her Apple watch and knew we needed to call 9-1-1.
Within minutes this was confirmed as EMTs loaded her into the ambulance and whisked her off to the hospital. I plunged into action, to take care of the mess left behind in the house, and to take care of Sheba and Smokey until she got home from the hospital.
That didn’t happen until a week later, and things looked scary. The doctors had said she’d had a massive heart attack and had got there just in time.
It has always hurt me to see how painful and afraid she was, so I spent a lot of time praying for her healing and safe return. I’m so relieved that now, over a month later, she is doing better than she was before those sudden attacks started happening. It turns out those “attacks” weren’t from a pinched nerve, or stress and anxiety- they were mini heart attacks!
Because of being sent back and forth and languishing so long in the ER waiting for care the first two times she went, she had decided she wasn’t going to bother going to ER again. She was just going to ‘wait them out.’
Every time she’d had an attack, I’d known this was a possibility- but the doctors were saying otherwise, and she is not able to just sit in a chair in a waiting room for over 8 hours (to only end up going home in tears from pain with no diagnosis). Every time this happened I would ask the Lord to give me wisdom for each situation and to protect and preserve her until she got a correct diagnosis. I’m so thankful He did.
While she was in the hospital, I was looking after her house and taking care of Sheba and Smokey, and the realization hit me that this Christmas was going to be my first since my husband passed and that I could have very easily lost my sister and best friend if she had decided to ‘wait out’ this attack also.
With also watching my grand-daughters, helping them with school, and the usual responsibilities, my blog had to fall by the wayside because I simply felt too overwhelmed with everything else. There were times I sat down at the computer to begin a post, but my brain refused to co-operate. I simply couldn’t think of where to start- being so preoccupied with everything else that my mind just got stuck.
It took me weeks to realize when I finally went to the Lord and asked Him “What’s wrong with me!?” and He showed me, that I hadn’t been taking care of my own needs. Still grieving the sudden loss of my husband last January, it occurred to me that I had neglected calling my grief counselor, I hadn’t gone to church (because of the pain of the IT band issue)- I hadn’t been getting enough sleep, I hadn’t taken time for the things that I enjoy because I felt I couldn’t afford to take the time, and I had neglected my normal workouts for the same reason (which didn’t help my IT band issue).
Without realizing it I was experiencing a sort of “Brain fog” that happens sometimes in grief. I learned this by emailing my grief counselor who informed me of ways that grief changes your brain. Thank God these changes are reversible.
This Christmas and all the activities surrounding the festivities became a lot easier for me once I realized after praying what was happening to me.
I’ve learned to give the grief and the things it brings with it to the Lord and to take the time I need to heal. He tenderly and beautifully healed and protected my sister who is now doing better than ever before and is doing all she can to protect her health- He also beautifully and tenderly keeps and guides me and I’m grateful for all He’s done. Instead of focusing on who has been lost, This Christmas is about all that has been saved.
Merry Christmas Everyone! Twilight and Sushi will be back tomorrow!
We’ve been away for a while, so I’m here to give the latest cat update!
Our Can Opener has had a lot of bumps in the road lately that has slowed her down a bit when it comes to typing for us. For one, she has been trying to take time to prepare for upcoming birthdays (not to mention, Christmas). October would have been her hubby’s birthday- which he now is celebrating in heaven and not here on earth anymore. One of their daughters’ birthday was the week before, and knowing that he was not going to be here to celebrate with them had a way of putting a literal “shadow of death” over the festivities.
She was excited about their daughters’ birthday- but knowing she would be alone the following week on his birthday made things difficult. But as it turned out, the Critters’ parents knew that day was going to be hard for her and they had some surprise plans up their sleeve for her! So it turned out to be a day full of love, fun, and games and just being thankful that he is no longer suffering, and that helped a lot.
We are finding that just because weeks and months pass, doesn’t somehow make the pain of loss disappear. It has a way of sneaking up on a person when they least expect it.
But back to us cats- Smokey now owns the Can Opener’s sister, and has wasted no time in informing Sheba that she has been dethroned. You could say they had an election of their own, and there’s a new boss in town. Sheba is protesting LOUDLY.
In fact, she gets so mad at him getting snuggles from her human, that she storms out of their house, and comes into ours, just to protest! She walks up to our human, rubs against her leg, and then when our Mom bends down to pet her, she hisses and scratches her ankle just to make her pay! She knows it’s because of our human, that her Mom has adopted Smokey!
Of course, our human spoils Sheba when she comes in, because she understands that Sheba is jealous and upset- but that still doesn’t stop Sheba from taking a swipe at her ankles and hissing at her!
Meanwhile, Twilight stays at a distance but when I see Sheba hiss at the Can Opener, I growl at her and she turns and runs outside!
We’ve been busy keeping the rodent population down- (well, I have… Sushi only works on keeping those pesky blankets down). The Can Opener has a lot going on, and we’ve been telling her to get on the ball and post for us- but she’s as stubborn as ever and we can’t always get her to listen to her overlords (us) as well as she should. We are discussing disciplinary options now, but really, what can we do?
We threaten to with-hold treats from her, but she’s the one who buys everything so that doesn’t always work out. The closest we can come to with-holding her treats, is to stick our paws in her ice cream before she can dive in. But that lady is faster than lightening when it comes to ice cream.
Still, we’re working on getting this lady under control- but for now, she’s falling asleep and we haven’t had our nightly grooming and snuggles yet- so we’re going to make her give us attention now, and we’ll let her have her computer back in the morning. (Maybe)…
Twilight was going to post this morning, so I got the computer turned on for her- but instead, she saw her favorite spot next to the laptop and decided to take it back from Sushi. Now she’s snoozing- so I’ll take it from here, and let her nap since she was out all night being a wild child.
I’ve been up since 5:00 this morning, and I don’t have the little Critters today- but I stayed up anyway because I have had a difficult time lately finding a chance to just be still for a bit and take some much needed time in prayer and God’s Word.
I have sensed Him reaching out to me over these last couple of weeks more and more. But life -(and responsibilities)- have a way of draining us of our energy- and (as you have no doubt noticed)- any form of creativity.
I haven’t said anything about things that have been happening- but my sister- (who happens to also be my neighbor)- kept having attacks that looked and felt like a massive heart attack was building up. So I have spent the last two weeks trying as much as possible to make myself available to her, staying with her when they happened, taking her vitals, calming her down, and caring for her.
At first she wouldn’t let me call 9-1-1 because she was sure the pain and shortness of breath was coming from a pulled muscle in the back of her neck.
I didn’t agree. I can’t say much about the details, but her symptoms were bad enough that I was afraid of what I may find when I went to check on her in the couple of days that followed.
The attacks happened suddenly and when she was relaxed. Complete with pain in her arm, etc. She would call in the middle of the night and say “It’s happening again”- And I’d rush over in my pajamas and do everything in my power to calm and reassure her while urging her to get checked.
After about 2 days she finally agreed (after it happened two days in a row)- to go to Urgent Care. She went to urgent care, and they sent her to ER.
That led to an 8 hour languishing in the waiting room of the hospital, where she sat in pain, one of a countless multitude of other people waiting for care- and some even laying in the floor sick in the ER. The doctors and nurses did the best they could- but they didn’t have enough staff. She was supposed to be there for an ekg (which after being done twice, was said to be normal)- and for two blood tests which had to be taken an hour apart.
They did the first blood test, and said they’d be back in an hour to do the second one. All this time, she was still in the waiting room. Three hours later they came back for the other blood test.
Several times she and her daughter told them she was in pain (from sitting so long)- and she needed to go home but they wouldn’t let her leave. Finally at 11 pm she said, “I’m going. I can’t do this anymore.”
She went back home, exhausted and in (more) pain- though she wasn’t having pain in her chest or shortness of breath anymore)- and the next day it happened again. She started her morning feeling finally rested (when she woke up around noon)- and within 45 minutes it happened again. Again she called me, and the hospital had not told her the results of her blood tests, but they had said it looked like she might have heart damage.
I prayed with her after doing everything I could to make her comfortable and help her calm down. The incident passed quickly- but 30 minutes later, It started again, and this time, I told her she couldn’t play with this and I needed to call 9-1-1. She finally agreed.
While I was still on the phone with the dispatcher, my sister suddenly said- “The pain is gone!” She was no longer clutching her chest, or holding her arm- and was completely calm. I told the dispatcher, and she had me ask if My sister still wanted them to come (they had already left).
They came (6 emts)- and checked her out and did an ekg and it was normal! They said if she wanted to go to ER, they would take her in, but they assured her that her heart was okay. And, they made a point of telling her that the “ER is not the place you want to be right now.” No kidding. She had been there for 8 hours the day before.
A couple of hours later, the ER staff from the day before called her back and said they needed her to come back to ER because they had to re-do the two blood tests. She refused. But the vascular surgeon’s office called her to set up a test for her heart. So the next morning she checked in to the hospital (not ER) for that and had a stress test, and another test that let them check her heart valves. Fortunately, that experience was completely different. She was immediately taken to a room with a tv and was given every imaginable comfort. The proceedure went smoothly and a few hours later, she went home.
Then finally, (two days later and after a visit with her regular doctor)- she was told all her heart tests were within normal range and she wasn’t having a heart attack.
However, clearly certain enzymes were elevated, and her blood pressure was high- so her doctor asked if anything had happened lately. That’s when she told him that a couple of months ago she lost her brother in a fire. Then the doctor understood what had happened.
She has not been able to get grief counseling, and the full effect of his loss is beginning to become more real to her now. She is now feeling relieved at least knowing that if the pain starts again, she’s not having a heart attack- and now I can relax and not be afraid to check on her anymore – But she is in pain of a much different kind.
It has now been 9 months since my husband passed from stage 4 cancer- and I thought I was doing okay- until the last couple of weeks. Suddenly for me, the reality of his permanent exit is beginning to dawn- when holidays come and go- and what would be his birthday is next month- and our daughter’s birthday is a week before his- so there is a shadow of death hanging over the next few months with birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas approaching.
But for my sister (and for countless others that I don’t know)- there is a much more recent wound- and though we put a smile on our face, and stay busy and “life goes on,” there is still the shadow lurking always in the back of our minds.
Hear me- Whether you know anyone who has recently lost someone or not, Please be kind and compassionate toward those around you. Life is short – and especially now in this time of upheaval and division spreading across the world with its unrest and uncertainty- it is more important than ever before to SHOW KINDNESS – to forgive- to love.
Be the person who makes the difference in your world. You have no way of knowing what the person around you may be struggling through.
You all have the power to MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR GOOD. Just decide to be willing, please. ❤️
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
She said she had to go to work- I know she won’t be gone too long, but the problem is that she’s leaving at all! I don’t like it. She finally finished all her classes yesterday (which is why I couldn’t get her to type for me)- but today she still has too many distractions (like work, baking, important calls and appointments to make, and getting ready for the Critters to come tomorrow for the day). The usual unimportant stuff.
In other words, everything but poor, abandoned, adorable me. I’m going to pout now- but boy, is she going to get an earful when she gets home today! I’m going to realign her priorities whether she likes it or not!
We’re back! Our Can Opener has had the Critters a lot more this last week than usual because their Mom and Dad both had jury duty. We thought our human would NEVER have time to just snuggle and play with us again!
She is also taking care of her sister now and is taking (new) classes in addition to still doing grief counseling. She’s busier than a fly around an ice cream cone!
But it’s going to be really hot today, so when she started preparing ways for my (still feral) Mama to stay cool through the extreme heat, she started thinking about everyone else’s kitties, and we thought she could help us write about it so everyone can know things they can do to keep their kitties safe from heat exhaustion and heat stroke in this weather- (inside and outside)! So Sushi and I are going to have some whipped cream and let the Can Opener take over from here. Enjoy! 😻
Heat Exhaustion / Heat stroke in cats
Healthy cats and kittens are normally well adapted to heat, since they were desert animals orginially. But few people realize that older or sick animals are just as miserable in the heat as we are. And feral cats, older or obese cats, and cats with asthma, heart conditions or kidney conditions are especaially vulnerable to the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
First, here are the warning signs leading to heat exhaustion in cats(which can lead to heat stroke, coma and death).
If you see these signs, your pet is approaching hyperthermia (heat exhaustion)- take steps quickly to cool him down to prevent exhaustion!
excessive grooming in an effort to cool off
restless behavior (looking for a cool place)
If your cat’s body temperature keeps rising, heat exhaustion can occur quickly-
So how do you keep your cat safe in excessive heat?
Make sure your cat can always easily access fresh, cool water. And if it’s extremely hot, or if you have no air conditioning, change the water a couple of times a day and consider placing a few extra bowls around the house. Also, consider placing a fan where it will blow in the general area of your cat, (but not directly on him)
If your cat goes out, or if you have visiting ferals, provide clean water for them outside in a shady area, and add some ice (or freeze a bowl of water and in the morning, dump out the chunk of ice and provide it in a bowl or on a plate in a shaded area for strays to stay cool. As the ice melts throughout the day, it will keep water available for them.
Consider leaving a sprinkler on (just barely) in the yard to provide a constant “fountain” of water.
If your cat goes outside and has a favorite spot, freeze a bottle of water and wrap a towel around it and place it where he likes to hang out (preferably in a shady spot).
If you have cats that go outside also, try to keep them inside between 10 am-3 pm which is usually the hottest part of the day. Particularly if your cat is white! (more on that later)…
Help your indoor cat stay hydrated by also giving them wet food which contains more water and is helpful for older or sick cats (or cats with kidney problems) who may not drink a lot of water. You can also offer them cat broths poured over their dry food for extra hydration
Cooling mats are also an excellent and easy way to provide relief both indoors and outdoors (in a shady spot) for your cats (and dogs)- such as these I found on Amazon (I do not earn any money from these links)- non toxic, pressure activated, self charging!
Please remember your cats (and doggies) can’t tell you when they are suffering from the heat! They depend on you to keep them safe! Please be alert on super hot days, and NEVER leave your cat or doggie in a hot car!
I always knew I’m a special cat- but today my Mom said it’s National SUSHI DAY! I’m so honored! I can’t believe the whole nation celebrates ‘Sushi day!’
I’ve been just dying to write about it all day long, but Mom has been constantly wiping at my eyes and putting that darned ointment in them so it’s kind of hard to see with the goopy stuff in my eyes. I finally put the guilt trip on Mom and made her feel sorry for me and she decided to stop everything and help me post about it!
But then… when I asked her how long there’s been a national holiday celebrating cute little me, she rudely informed me that “that’s not what National Sushi day” is all about. I protested loudly, but she still insists its about some thing else…
Wait- That looks suspiciously like FISH! Mom says it is fish- but it’s a dish called “sushi” – they must have just liked me so much they named their food after me! I’m so SPECIAL!
The Can Opener though, keeps insisting it has nothing to do with me- well, if that’s so, she’d better at least let me get my paws on some ‘sushi!’ Because that looks good enough for me to celebrate!
I never heard of it before today- she says it originated in Southeast Asia and Japan (according to National Today.com). She learned that it started as a dish called Narezushi- salted fish that was stored in fermented rice for months. (I’ll take the fish, you can have the rice). It was considered a very good source of protein, and some people started leaving out the rice, and just eating the fish.
Between 1600-1800 the sushi most people know was born- when in Japan, they started mixing fish with rice and vegetables mixed in vinegar. Then, in the 1800’s another style emerged called nigirizushi– this was pretty much a mound of rice with fish draped over it.
It eventually became popular here and all over the world after a terribe earthquake in 1923 displaced a lot of peope from Edo Japan and made them have to leave their land – as they settled in different places all over the world, others became introduced to sushi in its various types and soon celebrites brought national attention to it.
So, Today (June 18) is the day to make sure you try some sushi (if you’ve never tried it before)- and why not give some to your cat?? That way we can celebrate it too!
Did you hear that, Mom? No veggies, rice or vinegar in mine, please.
The Can Opener took Sushi in to see the vet today, and I’m going on Monday- she did it because Sushi’s eyes were super runny- every time Mom looked at her it looked like she had tears streaming down her face, and even though her eyes looked normal, Sushi kept pawing at them so Mom decided to take her to the vet and let me go in Sushi’s spot on Monday. (Gee, thanks, Mom- but I’ll pass).
The Can Opener had been noticing for the last week that Sushi’s eyes were draining- but she already had an appointment to take her to the vet on Monday. But when she saw that the other eye also had started draining a lot, she decided it probably shouldn’t wait til after the weekend and took her in to get checked out.
They did a special kind of eye exam they’d never done on Sushi before to make sure she didn’t have a scratched cornea or something stuck in her eye.
That meant the vet put some kind of drops in her eyes to numb them, and some kind of dye to make any injuries to the eye flourescent green! (Mom should’ve waited til Halloween)!
Poor Sushi was not happy- for the rest of the evening last night, Sushi’s watery eye was raining flourescent green tears!
We’re all happy to know that she doesn’t seem to have an injury to the eyes or anything in them, so she got to go home with a new and powerful antibiotic eye ointment the human has to hire the National Guard to put in her eyes three times a day now for the next two weeks. It took the vet, the assistant, and Mom to get the first ones in. I sure hope all those workouts the Can Opener did will pay off now- as for me, I’m going to get some popcorn and watch the fight!