Category Archives: The Can Opener

Caturday Coolness!

It’s going to be hot today, Twilight but the Can Opener has us covered- Let’s help other kitties stay safe and cool today!

Keeping your kitties cool in the heat!

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!

  1. panting, drooling
  2. excessive grooming in an effort to cool off
  3. restless behavior (looking for a cool place)

If your cat’s body temperature keeps rising, heat exhaustion can occur quickly-

Watch for:

  • rapid breathing
  • redness of the mouth and tongue
  • vomiting
  • lethargy
  • stumbling gait
  • and a (rectal) temp. over 105 F

According to WebMD pets, if there is no intervention at this point, the cat’s body heat will continue to rise enough to cause the cat to collapse into seizures, coma, and death.

So how do you keep your cat safe in excessive heat?

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. Consider leaving a sprinkler on (just barely) in the yard to provide a constant “fountain” of water.
  4. 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).
  5. 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)…
  6. 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
  7. 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 have my very own holiday!

Today is National SUSHI DAY!

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…

Can you believe it? This is the ‘sushi’ she says the whole country is celebrating today!

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.

Image by 3Lloi_KoteikA from Pixabay

What did the vet DO!?

The Can Opener took Sushi to the vet today in my place…
MOM! I’m okay, really! Take Twilight- she has a headache- I’m sure she does!

Flourescent tears?? HOW!?

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).

I’d better get a ton of treats and some tuna for this, Mom. I know where you sleep!
Something doesn’t look right, Mom. What did they DO!?

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!

Okay Mom, I’m glad that’s over and my eyes are okay- that’ll cost you two mackerel, two tunas, and a boatload of treats, please. You may pay up any time now.

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!

This is going to be a great show!

She did it again…

You’d better have a good excuse, Human.

We can’t believe she did it again.

I knew something was up as soon as she got out the laptop bag. I told Sushi, but Sushi thought I was crazy. But now she knows. Once again, after a purrfectly pawsome morning of cuddles and treats, right when we thought we had it made for the day, The Can Opener packed up and left for the Critters’ house.

This time because the Critters’ parents were going to be gone and instead of staying here, they were concerned about leaving our cousins, Serafina and Abby alone (after having started them on a wet food only diet). They didn’t want to have to leave them with dry food only and no one to give them their wet food.

I told them I could take care of the food- I can eat it all myself then they don’t have to worry about it-
but she went anyway.

Sushi thought she would be back in a few hours. Now it was my turn to tell her she’s crazy. But she still didn’t believe me until 9:00 when bedtime came around and the Can Opener wasn’t here to groom her and tuck her in. The lights didn’t get dimmed, the toys remained laying paralyzed in the floor, and the treats didn’t walk out and pour themselves into our mouths.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, WE’RE PROTESTING!

AND THEN we heard the door open and got all excited until we noticed it wasn’t the Can Opener!

What did you do with our Can Opener! Bring her BACK!
Oh- it’s just you.

We were not happy. She had a couple of friends stopping by several times a day to make sure we were okay, and to let me out – but I didn’t go out because it rained the whole time! And I was afraid nobody would be here to let me in if I did go out. Of course, Sushi’s big fear was not being fed- as if missing a meal or two or fifteen wouldn’t hurt her.

Then we both realized the obvious- THE WHOLE THING WAS PLANNED!

And if that’s not bad enough- here’s the reason…. our spoiled cousins –

Her Royal Fleabag, Princess Abby
Serafina parked in front of the refrigerator in case the Can Opener forgot where they put it.

Of course, we were fed (but we’re not telling the Can Opener that), and her sister and her friend took really good care of us, and even gave Sushi her medicine and snuggles- but we don’t care, because it wasn’t OUR CAN OPENER! She did not fill out an application for our approval first, so therefore, there will be consequences….

That’ll teach her!

The Pets of War — The Chester Chronicles

Soul Mates According to the National Institute of Health, various studies show that owning a pet, particularly a cat or dog, can have many benefits for people. They include; decreased stress, lower blood pressure, reducing loneliness, increasing feelings of social support and improving one’s mood. There are also other aspects that bond a person with […]

The Pets of War — The Chester Chronicles

Not my typical post- But I have to share!

Our Can Opener saw this post and started to cry. Being the sweet cat I am, I of course, had to investigate and find out what made her cry and then get up from the computer and start praying for a place called “Ukraine.”

It’s a downright disgrace what’s happening in Ukraine- and it’s happening to their animals too.
Please help them if you are able!

Please take a few minutes to read (and follow) The Chester Chronicles- and if you are a person who believes in prayer, please take a few minutes out of your busy day to pray for relief for the people (and children) and animals of Ukraine! Pray for healing of Ukraine and its people- and click the link below (or one of the links on Chester’s page) to help if you are able! So many people and pets (and wild animals) are suffering and need care.

Let them know they are not alone!

Humane Society International (animal rescue/ vet care / supplies/ food /shelter)

Care.org (emergency food aid- your gift tripled!)

Core (thermal blankets, hygiene kits, emergency cash assistance to help refugees resettle

Convoy of Hope (baby food, mattresses, shelter, generators, emergency lighting)

Thank you, Twilight & Sushi (and Can Opener)

Morning Coffee with Twilight

The coffee is a little weak this morning, Mom. In fact, it looks just
like water… How about some expresso?

My Human has had a hard week. Good thing I’m here.


No, Human. I mean MY OWN cup!!

Every time my Can Opener seems like she’s able to move on from the loss of the Backup Can Opener in January, something always seems to happen to stir it all up again. Sushi and I have our paws full comforting her and trying to remind her to sing praise, (it lifts her above grief, sorrow and depression every time- if she just remembers to do it)! She never had to be reminded before. But now every day events bring back waves. We help her get through it.


Image by J F from Pixabay

We’re always hearing her sing praise and give thanks to the Lord for all He’s done for her and for the ways he has sustained and preserved her. Especially since the loss. But lately a couple of things have happened in the neighborhood that has never happened here before in the 15+ years we have lived here. One of those things was an act of violence against a woman down the street (who was attacked by her live-in- whoever). She was only walking to her car – the assailant followed her cursing and slammed her to the ground- she did absolutely nothing but try to get away. He tried to prevent her from getting into her car to leave- but she kept trying and she got in and locked the doors.

Then he went to the passenger side and tried to open it – (the Human and her sister and others saw it on the first warm, sunny day we had, when they were discussing plans for their gardens). They called the police right away- others just looked away.

Meanwhile, the assailant hung onto the car as the woman tried to drive away and he hung on for the longest time until she was able to go fast enough (without hurting him) to pull away and leave. He had thrown glass bottles at her as she was leaving, and other things- the neighbor closest to him who lives alone, watched it and did nothing but wait until the man went back in his house and then he cleaned up all the broken glass in the street and on the lawn.

The police came- but by the time the officer got here, the woman was gone and so was the assailant. That upset everyone in the neighborhood- but our Can Opener especially was grieved – she knows these things happen. But never has she seen it so close to her house. It left her (and her sister and others in the neighborhood) feeling vulnerable and almost as though they themselves had been assaulted.

This has always been a peaceful neighborhood where everyone watched after each other. Seeing this just added to the waves of (normal) grief that our human has been dealing with since January. It also showed her the need to pray for her neighbors. And to pray for the police officers and first responders who literally lay their lives on the line every time they show up for work.

For about 3 days our human couldn’t concentrate enough to help us post. But she has resumed singing praise when anxiety and depression rears its ugly head to threaten her peace, and every time it lifts her above all the chaos in the world and brings comfort, peace, and even joy in the middle of it all.

Jesus Himself is her peace. And He makes her know she’s not really alone- or vulnerable

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled. Neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27 ESV

Life and Memorial

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

Still So Surreal

Every relationship we enter knowing that one day for whatever reason, it will end. But that doesn’t make it any easier to get through when it does. And when it ends because of a sudden diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, the memories of all your loved one endured are relentlessly painful. And they hit you at the most inopportune times, and sometimes for no apparent “reason” at all.

Like when you’re going into your closet to pick an outfit for something, and you see something your husband loved to see you wear. Or you want to get a haircut, and automatically try to choose one he would like- or you go grocery shopping, and without realizing it, fill your cart with things he loved that you can’t eat – then you suddenly realize that you no longer need to concern yourself with those preferences.

The emptiness that suddenly hits you is indescribable. And you think to yourself, it’s only been 2 months and two days. How can I handle this for the next few months- or years?

You try to go on with life as it was before, because you have to. But everything has changed. Now there’s no one (except the cats) waiting for you when you get home- and no one to watch a movie with or share a cup of coffee with. Loud or sudden noises become extremely annoying, silence isn’t the comfort it once was, you realize you have to become very purposeful in order to do the things you know you need to do to take care of yourself.

This is where grief counseling helps so much. Seeing the impact that the loss of your husband has had on your family, you realize that you don’t want them to suffer another loss if you can help it. Exercise becomes a priority – (even though it’s the last thing you feel like thinking about)- Avoiding junk food and eating right is even more important because what you eat (especially when grieving) will definitely not only affect your health, but your mood as well.

Being with friends and family become critical – especially if you are blessed with a family like mine, where love and respect are most important. My heart goes out to those suffering the loss of a loved one without that critical support. How do they manage to face each new day?

This is what it’s like. But at some point, you have to make a decision. You can allow yourself to be overcome with sorrow and grieve to death- or you can choose to live with new purpose.

It’s not easy- but by the Holy Spirit you can receive strength for each new day, comfort in your sorrows, and a new life of purpose.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/111/isa.61.1-3.NIV

Peace is possible- even in mourning.


Trust

Grief Counseling Has Begun

Photo by lilartsy from Pexels

“The wild feral animal that comes in your house and won’t leave (or listen to you).”

That’s the way the grief counselor described how an event like this – (a sudden devastating diagnosis and death of a loved one)- affects the human brain. And it’s completely accurate.

It’s also a great way to describe how the memories of the lost person plow into you when you least expect it. Welcome or not, they come flooding back like an unexpected assault right when you think you’re going to be okay.

It’s only been a little over a month- it still feels unreal- yet the ashes prove it is real.

Nothing is the same. Suddenly there’s no one (except pets) to greet you when you wake up in the morning. No one to brew coffee for and start the day with. No more dinners out, nor birthdays, nor holidays to share together. No one to give the much-needed hugs, validation, and encouragement.

And yet, there is so much to do. Little time to grieve, or even dare to let yourself feel. Numbly, life goes on unmarked by everyone but the family who are left with a tangle of emotion that they don’t even know how to vocalize. And the children- and grandchildren- who just can’t even process what’s happening.

They throw themselves into work, or play, or anything they can to get a reprieve from the hurricane of un-named feelings swirling around in their minds. And the 5 – year- old in her innocence and inability to grasp the finality of it simply turns it into a pretend situation with her Barbies.

I’ve been advised to write about it by both my counselor and my doctor. I’ve noticed that trying to carry on as I always did before isn’t working very well. The emptiness and feelings just refuse to be ignored. Yes, I know and am confident that my husband is no longer in misery and constant pain. And for that I’m grateful- What I watched him suffer, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I will write because they have advised me to- and somehow it really does help. I am returning to my daily workout routine (trying anyway). I’ve lost 13 pounds and my blood pressure is great- I’m eating well – I was already in the habit of eating ‘clean.’

But I have headaches every single day now and my hair has started falling out. Somehow this is especially upsetting, because my husband – (and everyone else) – has always loved my long hair. The Doctor confirmed yesterday that both the hair loss and the headaches are due to the stress that erupted like a volcano in December and continued as I provided hospice care for my husband until he passed away last month.

Apparently you really can’t get by on an hour or two of sleep every night for weeks, and not be affected by it. I am told that the hair loss will correct itself once the stress is reduced- so I am doing everything they said I should do- counseling, writing, making sure I get enough sleep, managing stress and resuming my exercise routines. Adding to this a scoop of collagen powder in my coffee every morning, a balanced, clean diet, biotin and other vitamins. I’ve also started watching comedy and making time for relaxing things that I enjoy but “never have time for.”

Laughter really does help- It doesn’t take away the feelings, but it does make it easier, and keeps me from dwelling on the things I can’t change. And where these things fail, The Lord Himself takes over. He reminds me that my peace, hope, and security is found in Him – even in the valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23)


https://www.bible.com/bible/114/psa.23.4


found on Pinterest

Sushi’s Hunt for Love

I’m tired of hanging around with just Twilight. That girl has mental problems. I’ll be minding my own business (sleeping), and that little brat will come up and swat the fleas right off me just because she wants to play. I think it’s time to find myself a handsome boyfriend to defend me against the little white tornado!

So, I’m taking advantage of technology to help me find a handsome boyfriend. Just hope the Can Opener doesn’t catch me playing with her iPhone! Let’s see if these snaps will help me find a handsome Tom…


Of course, I don’t want to look too sweet- I don’t want to attract the wrong kind of tom and find out he has a harem and 300 kittens someplace, because I know he’ll treat me the same way and I’ll have to knock his stripes off and then start all over again- and then, with my luck his 300 kittens will come complain because I kick his furry butt.

Oh! I got a snap from a secret admirer! Let’s see what he looks like!

Oh, I’m so excited! And I’ll tell Twilight I saw him FIRST! She can find her own boyfriend!

Oh, heck no! What the heck is THAT?

Sorry, furface- you’re not my type!

Hey, Twilight! I found a boyfriend for you!! He’s CUTE!

I think I’m going to start over- and find myself a handsome tiger.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Now, that’s more like it…. I need his number! Meow.


From “the Can Opener”

Image by autumnsgoddess0 from Pixabay

Monday will mark one month

This Monday will be Valentine’s Day- and it will also mark one month since my husband passed. It still feels like it was yesterday. How do I celebrate Valentine’s Day without him after 40 years?

I thought I was doing okay until I had to go pick up his death certificate and his ashes from the funeral home. I had known it wasn’t going to be easy, but nothing can really prepare you for bringing your spouse home that way.

I don’t want to dwell on this for too long. But it has taken me days to be up to writing about this and I will be starting grief counseling (hopefully this week)- and I know this will be one thing recommended. I had bought a new journal to write about the whole cancer diagnosis and why it wasn’t diagnosed until it was too late.

But I have yet to write a single word in that journal, because I stare at the blank page and my mind instantly starts seeing him doubled over in continual pain and struggling to breathe as he had been daily since about May of last year. I want to watch tv, and I remember the countless times we would “watch something together” and he would retreat into the bedroom in too much pain to care. Then I remember hearing him breathing at night and saying, “I think you should go to ER” (but he was in too much pain).

I start seeing the countless dinners I’d prepared for us, from which he would take one or two bites, then retreat into the bedroom in pain saying he was “full.” I remember the vain attempts to offer him something that would maybe- just MAYBE help him have a little relief – only to have him refuse it because he already knew it wouldn’t help.

I constantly feel the helplessness all over again of thinking he was going to die, and we wouldn’t even know why. I feel the anger at the doctors again also who saw his “something” on his small intestine that “they didn’t think was cancer”- and didn’t give him anything at all to relieve his constant pain and other symptoms while he waited an average of 3 months to be seen by another specialist who said the same things and referred him to yet another specialist– (with yet another month or two or three in between).

The last specialist he was referred to was 110 miles away – and when he finally was called (in November) by that specialist it was for a phone consultation. Still no relief for him symptoms meanwhile. The next thing we knew he was being rushed to the ER because of a blood clot- and nothing was the same after that.

I need to stop this for now – (though I hadn’t planned to)- There is so much more to say- but I want to encourage you all to not take for granted the time you have with your loved ones. Especially your spouses. When we celebrated the New Year this year, we knew something was wrong with my husband, but we had no idea that the Christmas we had was going to be our last Christmas together- and that the New Year we celebrated would be the last time we would ring in a New Year.

Whatever you do- treat your loved ones – with respect and consideration – don’t say things in anger and frustration that you can never take back. Don’t be oblivious to their emotional needs or frustrated with them when they don’t see things the way you do. Let them be who they are- don’t try to make them a copy of yourself. You have one chance in this life to BE the “someone special” to the “special someone” in your life.

Sheild and protect each other. Uphold each other’s dignity- and don’t tolerate anyone speaking evil of your spouse. BE SOMEONE SPECIAL to them while you can- today! Tomorrow everything could change.