Life keeps throwing me plot twists, some of which I have handled better than others. These sudden plot twists have kept me from writing, for which I am sorry.  My world has changed so much in the last few weeks- I have been having some serious battles with depression and anxiety, and my grandma died rather suddenly last week. My grandparents live on the other side of the country, so it was last minute travel.

Cat Doodle

Fuzzy George and Sneakers are adorable cartoons!

Life hasn’t been all bumps though. Last weekend was the annual comic convention in Chicago. My favorite weekend of the year. This year I got a little doodle of my boys.  I really love getting personalized art of my cats.  This particular one is done by Katie Cook. You can find more of her work on her website.  This doodle has really been the highlight of my last few weeks.

The cats have really been a huge help to me the last few weeks. They have kept me company when I was sick in bed. They cheered me up with the sheer joy they had when I came home. Thinking of them, and looking at their pictures kept me calm and distracted when I was away from home.

Sneakers and Fuzzy George 17 (5)

The photo the doodle was based on.

I realize this is a rather rambling post, with not much cat related content. I wanted to share an update and let everyone know I am alive.  Please bare with me as I struggle to get back to my routine and get my writing mojo back.

Selfie Sunday: Sneakers

Sneakers has been particularly snugly lately. Which is odd, because the weather is getting warmer, and he is fond of snuggles when the weather gets cold. My only thought is that he must be looking for company. It has been me and the cats for a few weeks now. And sadly I have been working long hours, which means the cats have beeen alone more than they are used to.  Woke up the other day to find this face in mine. It was a great way to wake up. I love these boys. 

I love them so much, and I love their attention.  It’s beeen rough though. They are due for their Revolution treatment (flea/tick/heart worm prevention) but whenever I give it to them, Sneakers hides for the rest of the day. It is hard to break his heart and face his looking at me in terror for the rest of the day, even when I know it is the best thing for them. It is amazing what those sad eyes can do to your heart. And lets not mention the diet Fuzzy George has to go on. I mean I have been trying to watch his food intake, but somehow he still is getting pudgy. Err. Pudgier. So time to get even more serious about food intake. I will have to do my research on calorie count for wet food, then do math to figure out how many calories in part of a can, then average that out with how much dry food they are getting. I am not looking forward to this. Which is probably why I have put off the dry food part for so long.  I need to do what is best for them, even though it is hard. Even though they will dislike it. Sometimes we have to do hard things for our cats. We have to make hard decisions and do things they dislike-like giving medication, taking them to the vet and putting them on diets. It will be better for them in the long run. Even if it means we have to give up a few snuggles in the short term. 

Cats are Good for the Soul

I have been going through some heavy stuff the last few weeks. The seemingly endless doctor appointments have kept me running and kept me from my cats. It feels like all I do is work and see doctors lately. (This is a slight exaggeration in fact, but not in feeling).  My cats have been the calming presence. They are what gets me out of bed on the mornings when I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. I have written in the past about how my cats have helped me cope with Depression and Anxiety in Cats Help Improve Mental Health.  That was stories of Crash, Sam and Muffin. They saved me from myself at some hard times. Thankfully Sneakers and Fuzzy George have filled the cat vacancies. I don’t know where I would be without them. 

Fuzzy George and Sneakers have kept me grounded in the here and now. When my mind races ahead of itself, or focuses on things it shouldn’t be focusing on, the cats remind me there are things to tend to here. Mostly that they wanted to be fed five minutes ago, thank you very much. Even though they can add to the stress- Waking up to cats wrestling on the bed in the middle of the night is getting real old- they give so much more!

Cats are entertainment. When I come home after a very, very long day and want nothing more than to escape into mindless entertainment, Sneakers runs around like a goof demanding my attention. Fuzzy George causes mayhem and destruction if he gets bored, which is always a good reminder that I am neglecting him. Even my ferals look in the window to see what I am doing. Their constant need for undivided attention can seem annoying, but it is really a reminder to be present. To forget about social media, online shopping, reading the news or playing games on my phone. It is a reminder that my health issues will be addressed, but I cannot let them take over my life. There are important things here and now that need attending to. 

Fuzzy George and Sneakers have also been a check point for me. I knew that I was stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. I didn’t realize how bad I was though, until the day I found myself getting annoyed at the cats for doing very basic cat things. Sneakers was begging for food and I told him to go away.  Fuzzy George got into mischief because he was bored, I yelled at him for being so naughty. They both excitedly greeted me when I got home. I had a bag full of groceries and a fully bladder, so I told them to get out from under my feet (in a much less loving way.).  Once I realized that I was letting my emotions and stress control my actions, I was so ashamed. I pulled back. I took some deep breaths and have really been focusing on self-care. I apologized to them, and being cats they simply asked me for more food.  


When I have been down, they have soothed me. Sneakers sleeps on me at night, frequently soothing me to sleep with the rhythm of his purring.  They are right there when I go to bed, piling themselves on me so they are both touching me. It is so comforting. Looking at them both snuggled on the bed, content and at peace with the world is so good for my soul. They remind me that I am loved, always; I am not alone. I have to keep fighting my fight and making myself healthy for so many reasons. I strive to be the person my cats think I am, even when I am yelling at them. 

Showdown

Fuzzy George and Sneakers had a show down on my bed the other day. It seems to be their favorite place to wrestle lately. They will go from A to B and back, it’s all very amusing. 

They asked me to share this as a check in. They are progressing so well and are best of friends. It is nice to have something running smoothly in my life. I have been facing some heavy stuff with life, including some ongoing medical issues, this week. As such the blog had to give just a bit. The first picture of my boys, with their ears back and their angry faces on, is sorta a good representation of how I feel towards the world right now. 

Promise to catch up on all the comments and posts soon. In the mean time wishing you all lots of love and purrs.

Microchip Your Cat!

I finally registered Fuzzy George’s microchip today. He was microchipped months ago when I first brought him home, this is one cat who I don’t trust to not run out of the house. His chip wouldn’t have done much good though, since he wasn’t registered. Registering your cat or dog’s microchip means that you put in their details-name, species, breed, maybe even color- and you put in your contact information so the company knows who to call if your cat or dog is lost. Without registering your pet’s microchip the microchip company only knows who they sold the chip to- that might be your veterinarian or it might be a local shelter. Either way it does not directly link your pet with you.

I wasn’t as concerned as perhaps I should have been. Fuzzy George was chipped at the veterinary clinic I work at, so his chip would trace back to there. Since I work there, everyone at work would instantly know if my cat was missing and be able to inform Home Again is they called to find information about his chip.

Microchipping is when you have a tiny microchip inserted under your cat or dog’s skin. It is a relatively painless procedure (just a needle prick).  If your pet gets lost a microchip is the best change of your friend making it home. Any vet’s office or animal shelter can scan your pet if they are found. Shelters in Chicago are required to scan for microchips and attempt to contact the person the chip is registered to. Unfortunately a microchip does not work like a GPS device, so it can’t tell you where your missing pet is. It only helps if the pet is taken in and scanned at a shelter or vet’s office. Still, the ASPCA estimates that 710,000 dogs and cats were reclaimed by their owners versus 649,000 in 2011. This is in part due to an increasing number of pets having microchips. I can’t tell you the number of found cats who are brought into the clinic I work at to be scanned for a microchip. Only one or two have actually been reunited with their owners thanks to microchipping.

I have heard so many stories of cats and dogs being found and reunited with their families because of microchips. Some of them are quick reunions, while others happen years after the pet goes missing.  Here’s a story of a little dog who was reunited with her family three years later! I recently heard of a cat who was found in Chicago and her microchip lead back to her family in Washington D.C.!  When I worked at the shelter, we received several calls of found cats who were chipped to us. Some of them were lost cats whose adopters never updated their information, meaning the cat’s chip was still registered to the shelter. Because we had the owner’s proper contact information we were able to reunite cats and owners. One of those cats was found in Seattle. No one, including her adopter, knows how she got there.

You should microchip your cat even if he doesn’t go outside. Your cat could get lost if there is ever an emergency such as a fire or natural disaster. There is also the risk of cats getting out of the house during parties (all that opening and closing of doors) or if you move. And of course, cats being cats, you never know when someone might decide to run out the door after a squirrel or another cat. I will never  forget the day that Crash, a perfectly contented house cat, ran out the front door. I opened the door to get the mail and he noticed the neighbor’s cat in the front yard. My old man darted out the door faster than I could react. Thankfully for both of us he was old and slow and I was able to quickly direct him back inside. That was when I decided they were all getting microchipped.

Even my feral cats are microchipped. It is part of the law in Cook County that feral cats be chipped. The idea being that if they are ever picked up by animal control they can be reunited with their colony and caretaker. I have heard mixed results with this, but that is a post for another time.

If your cat or dog is already microchipped, make sure the vet checks the chip at your yearly visit. You want to make sure the chip hasn’t migrated (making it difficult for rescuers to find) and that the chip still works.  It is also important to keep your information up to-date. If your pet is registered with an out of date phone number, you will never get the call that Fluffy was found.  If you don’t remember what company your pet’s microchip is through (there are several) a simple scan at your next vet visit can tell you.

Selfie Sunday: Derp Face

Fuzzy George is modeling his Derp Face below.

20170309_193942[1]It was a rare instance of his snuggling on my lap, and I think I caught him just as he woke up. Which is probably very rude of me to share. I know I would be made if someone published a photo of me just after I woke up. However, he is a cat and his sleepy derp face is far more adorable than my sleepy derp face.

Unfortunately for Fuzzy George it is also the closest thing I was able to get to a selfie for “Selfie-Sunday.” Sneakers has a sore pustule forming on his chin again, so he is now fleeing from me every time I approach him directly. He doesn’t like getting his chin cleaned and I think it really stung last night when I cleaned it out. Poor love. So he has told me no selfies for awhile. I am also not allowed to approach him for a while, which will make cleaning his chin difficult. Oh cats.

I’ve noticed the boy snuggling more lately. This morning I caught them sitting on the back of the chair, basking in the sun and grooming each other. How I wish I had my camera! They took turns licking each other, then stopped and looked out the window. Their snuggles are disgustingly adorable. Hopefully I can catch them in the act one of these days!

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