Category Archives: The Can Opener

The Cat Scoop

So here’s the scoop on what’s been happening with us neighborhood cats lately…

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!

King of the house
Sheba pouting at our house.

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!

What the heck just happened?

We’re Back- (well, in the morning)…

The Can Opener started this earlier today- but then she went to work, and after that, Sushi got her sidetracked-
Thanks, Mount Sushi.

It’s been a while- (it’s Sushi’s fault).

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)…

Morning Coffee with Twilight & Can Opener

I’m taking my spot at the desk back from Sushi!

Finding peace & comfort in times of turmoil

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.

Matthew 7:12

Morning Coffee with Sushi

The Can Opener left me all alone to go to work. She’s going to hear about it when she gets home!

The Can Opener cut my grooming short

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!

Until then- I’ll be busy plotting….


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