I coulda won that Funniest Home Video….

chase

Picture this in your mind. But add flames shooting out from both sides of the cat.

This really happened in my house some years back. My old Vanna cat jumped up on the end table. On top of a lit candle. We both realized at the same time that she was on fire. She looked at me, I looked at her, I screamed, and she took off running down the hall.

And so did both my retrievers. Typically the dogs and the cat lived in peace, as Vanna was older and slow, and gave the dogs no reason to chase her. But add some screams and running, and both dog’s prey instincts kicked in, and they took off after her down the hall, with momma bringing up the rear.

The faster she ran, the more it fanned the flames shooting out from either side.  I’ve never seen her run so fast, but I guess you would too if you were on fire with two huge dogs chasing you.  I was screaming at her to stop, and screaming at the dogs to stop, but we all went full tilt until we hit the bedroom.

She leaped up onto the bed to escape the dogs, I immediately flipped her over and beat the flames out. She was still smoking pretty bad so I carried her to the kitchen sink and sprayed her down with the faucet hose. I furiously dug through her stinky wet fur to find her skin and see how bad her burns were. Nothing. She was not burned at all.

But boy did she stink like burnt wet cat fur! I had to take the scissors and cut off all of her pretty long belly fur. This was a feisty old cat who had never had so much as a bath!

We all survived, the dogs had great fun, thought it was a game, the poor old cat didn’t jump on things too often after all that.

Too bad I didn’t have a video cam on, I would have won that $10,000 for sure!

She was a good old cat. Miss my Vanna.

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Dear Rainbow Bridge

It must be getting crowded on your side.  Several of my friends and bloggers have recently lost their pets.  I have contributed more than my fair share.

I love the idea of the Rainbow Bridge.  For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is a story that goes like this:

RB_Poem_Gate

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. 

Author unknown..

I just KNOW the Rainbow Bridge is real.  I just KNOW that God will reunite us with our beloved pets.  I cannot wait to see them.  Laddie, Scuffy, Mimi, Cali, UPer, Baby Kitty, Savanah, Maggie, Mollie, Maddie, Simon, and eventually Ozzy and Izzy.  I can picture myself, young and strong and beautiful again, running across the bridge, and being covered by all my loves, and playing in a beautiful green meadow covered in flowers.

That would just make my idea of heaven complete.

One job, two dogs, and a cat later…..

recovery

And here it is almost two years later.  Things are better.  So much better.  2011 was surely my hell on earth.  I lost so many things that year.  I used to wonder why I was being punished, and would say that I must have been a horrible person in a previous life.

The loss of my pets still guts me.  I second guess myself to this day.  Did I miss something, could I have done something better.  I loved my pets as much, if not more, than I love some human.  To me, they were human.  They could read my mind, as I could read theirs.  They were all beautiful creatures, inside and out.  Maddie was the cutest little golden retriever, with a heart as pure as gold.  She was taken too soon from me by kidney disease.  Only six years I had her.  She truly was a Golden Angel.  My Mollie was my big bad lab, and she was the most gorgeous white lab I had ever seen.  Long legs, not a blocky head, a proud tale that could clear a table in one swipe.  She lived a long life for a lab, but the day I put her down was one of my darkest ever.  The vet tech and I laid on the floor with her for over an hour just sobbing.  That day I went home, and now there were no dogs waiting for me with love shining from their eyes, and pure joy waggling their butts.

So that left Simon.  My beautiful Simon the Siamese cat.  He was my sister’s, but always loved me the best, as I did him.  I took him after Maddie died, as I need a new bed companion.  He was the BEST cat ever.  Ever.  Gorgeous, loyal, and followed me everywhere.  Sat on a chair in my office, sat on my lap watching TV, laid in his kitty bed on the bed next to me.  Mollie and Simon just ignored each other, so everyone got along just fine.  After Mollie died, it was just the two of us.  I knew I could never bring another dog into my home, the pain was just too great.  Simon was only six, I had many years left with him.

Except I didn’t.  After only 4 months, Simon too died, after a horrible night at the emergency vet.  I was in shock.  Really, God?  Really?  I was inconsolable.  That Sunday at church, I kept asking God why.  I was such a good mommy.  Why did God take my beloved pets from me?

I know the answer to that, unfortunately.  God gives me the special needs animals.  The animals that need special food and the meds.  The animals that need someone observant enough of their habits to realize when something is wrong.  The animals that would love me unconditionally, and give me back the love I so wanted and needed.

.But.  I just cannot live without a pet.  My heart is not ready yet for a dog, but cats are perfect, because they are more independent.  I have two new cats now.  They both have special needs, although I was not aware of it when I rescued them.  Ozzy has a defective bladder, and requires special food and meds.  Izzy has kitty colitis, and also requires special food.  But they are worth it.  They give me joy and love and all the affection I could possibly want, especially my Siamese Izzy.  They love each other and sleep curled up together in their kitty bed on my bed, or under the covers with me.  We are a good trio.  I am so happy Ozzy and Izzy found me, and adopted me.

As far as everything else goes, I have rekindled old friendships, and found new ones.  I have re-discovered my self-respect, self-love, and self-determination.  Sure, there have been bumps along the way, but my path is smooth now.  I work for myself and reap my own rewards.  Sink or swim, I am in control of my own destiny.

There are advantages…..

My blogger friend Jenni got me thinking on this subject.  Another douche bag man…she’s thinking of getting a kitten instead.

Worked for me. I don’t need no stinkin’ man I got me a baby kitty…..Ozzy.  Let’s see, what are the advantages?  Snuggles on my neck every night, doesn’t go out “catting” around, always happy to see me, and never leaves the toilet seat up for starters.  Clean as a whistle, doesn’t leave dirty clothes hanging everywhere, doesn’t take up much room in the bed.   Doesn’t have any bad habits, like smoking, drinking, or doing drugs.  Likes reality TV shows and Animal Planet.  Gives you hugs and kisses whenever you want.

Any disadvantages?  Sure, as in any relationship, you have to take the bad with the good.  Ozzy expects food and water in his bowl at regular intervals, and expects me to clean his waste every day.  Also uses me as a springboard for his nightly gymnastics.  Chews up all my strings that dangle.  Occasionally has bad breath.  Gets a little carried away with smurf bites.  Tongues a little raspy on the face.  Likes to try and trip me.  And, yes, he is an animal, not a real man, who does have an occasional use.  There are obviously a few men out there who could trump my cat, but they are just delusions illusions of reality for me, lol.

But overall?  For unconditional love?  Please, no contest.  A cuddly kitten or puppy will win every time.

Happy New Year indeed!

Out with the old, in with the new.  Good riddance to 2011!  I hope to never experience another year like it.  Let’s review:

In January and again in April hurt my back at work.  Can’t really say anymore.  In April my sweet beautiful YOUNG golden retriever Maddie succumbed to her kidney disease.  In the middle of April I was fired from my job.  Can’t really say anymore.  In May started treatment for my back.  Can’t really say anymore.  In the summer my friends lost their 15 year old daughter in a tragic accident.  Affected all of us greatly.  In August my favorite cousin stopped speaking to me because I’m such a mean girl 😦  In October my beloved yellow lab Mollie also died due to a variety of issues.  In December my brother-in-law had a very scary heart attack.   In December my gorgeous YOUNG Simon the Siamese Scaredy Cat died suddenly of heart failure.   There is one more day left of this year.  I am closely guarding my new baby kitten Ozzy.

So overall not a stellar year.  But it wasn’t all bad.  I learned who my real friends are, and they helped me immensely getting through it all.  My family also stepped up to the plate and grieved with me over my losses.  I learned that life is short and not to take it for granted.  I learned that the love of family and friends is most important.  I learned to be humble and accept my new fate in life, which is so precarious right now.  I learned to keep my mind sharp and look at new avenues for my work.  I learned not to waste time on people, places or things that don’t give back.  I learned that God can indeed provide comfort and guidance if only you will listen.  I learned a lot.

I am approaching 2012 with optimism.  I just know that good things are in store for me.  I have friends and family who love and care about me.  I have a new furry boy.  I am looking forward, not backwards.  I welcome the challenges ahead.

Come on 2012.  I am ready for you.

 

Reality bites….

For a few brief hours today I thought that God had sent me a gift to help me with my grief.  Lately I have had quite a few crying jags over losing my Mollie and Maddie.  I miss my girls so DAMN MUCH.  Sunday I went to the Sandbar to watch the football game.  It was a beautiful fall day, and I was standing outside with some of my friends on the beach, when this gorgeous golden retriever came running up to me full blast, and leaped upon me with delight, wiggling and waggling and licking me to death!  He was soaking wet, had just come out of the lake.  He had no collar on, but he appeared to be well fed, well-groomed, and well-trained.  It was obvious he had run away from home for a little adventure.  He was galloping around the beach, chasing kids on their bikes, fetching sticks I threw him, and greeting everybody who came in or out. 
 
After a while, I thought, hmmmm, I wonder where his owners are.  I was concerned he would run out the main road and get hit by a car or something.  Everyone kept telling me that I should take him home, and if anybody came by looking for him they would call me.  Surely someone would have been looking by now.  I sat outside on a picnic table off and on with this dog for a couple of hours.  He would take off and disappear for a for a while but then would come back.  He was smitten with me, as I was with him.  He kept leaning on me and wanting to be petted.  For a few moments I allowed myself to seriously think that maybe God had sent me this perfect creature to soak up my tears and make me smile again. 
 
I was almost going to take him home, when a girl came running up the beach with a leash in her hands.  My heart sank, and I pointed her in the direction of the galloping dog.  She waved a thanks, and my dream dog was gone.  Poof.  I blinked my eyes, and shook my head.  Reality was back.  I was sad for a little bit, but happy the dog was found, even while thinking, I was close, so close.  Once again I would go home to quiet, empty staircase.
 
Everyone thinks I should get a new dog, but truthfully I can’t afford it, am prolly having back surgery, and when I go back to work it’s too long to leave a puppy.  So I came home and petted Simon the Siamese Scaredy Cat and told him he better step up his dog skills game, lol.  I do love Simon very much, always have since he’s been a baby kitty, but a dog, especially a big dog, seems just more….human.  It’s hard to feel lonely with a big old lug of a dog around to be your best friend.

To puppy, or not to puppy….that is the question

If you follow me at all you know that last week I lost my beloved lab Mollie to kidney disease at age 12, and just five months my beloved golden Maddie also at just age 8.  Broke my dang heart, twice in a short span.

I have always said these two would be my last dogs.  It is too painful to lose them.  Plus when I’m working it is a long 12 hour day for a dog to be home alone.  A dog door with a fenced yard does help, but dogs get lonely.  That’s why I’ve always had two for the past 12 years.  I had another golden angel, Maggie, who also died at just age 8, before I got Maddie.

My vet suggested fostering, or perhaps rescuing an adult retriever.  You don’t get the cutesy puppy years, but at least they are somewhat trained and not so needy when they are older.  And hopeful don’t still chew.  Retrievers are BAD CHEWERS.  Just ask my woodwork and carpet.  And shoes.  And clothes.  I remember when Maddie was a puppy and the neighbors would think I had a wild hot tub party the night before, because my unmentionables would be strewn across the back yard!  This puppy in the picture though……I’ve always had a hankering for the English White Golden Retriever.  Their fur is so light, and their eyes are extra dark brown, which makes for a stunning combination.  In my mind, there is nothing more beautiful than a Golden Retriever.  Their fur is so soft and flowing, their eyes will melt your heart, and they are so gorgeous running across the lawn, with their ears flopping and tongues lolling.  They truly do smile all the time!

I suppose I really need to think this over.  It is a HUGE committment to mother a dog, especially a puppy.  You needs lots of time, money and patience.  It is well worth it for all the unconditional love you receive back, especially the sloppy kisses.  And there is nothing better than puppy breath!  But.  In this economy and with all the other issues I have at hand, perhaps not the best idea right now.  I have a middle-aged cat, Simon the Siamese Scaredy Cat, from my sister.  At 21 pounds I think he qualifies as a medium-sized dog.   He will do just fine for now.

The empty staircase

It has been over twenty years since I walked into a house empty of dogs.  No golden retriever spinning around my legs.  No yellow lab thumping her tail from the top of the stairs.  No sloppy kisses, no smiling retriever lips, no dancing brown eyes.

I finally stopped crying all the time.  Life must go on.  But everywhere I go there are still reminders.  Christmas collars.  Leashes.  Scarfs.  Makes me wince when I see all the paraphernalia I have accumulated over the years, for dogs.  I couldn’t bear to throw everything away, so I gave away all the perishable goods, and washed and cleaned all the other stuff and stored it on a shelf in my basement.  I have said all along I will NEVER get another dog, it is too painful, they are just too damn human to me.  But I have learned to never say never.  The circumstances of my life could change, and another dog may enter.  Who knows, the man of my dreams who is going to sweep me off my feet  might have a whole house full of dogs and want to share them with me.

I have thought about fostering, but my sister made a good point.  I would never give them up.  I would just keep taking them in.  That’s why I only lasted one day when I volunteered at the animal shelter a few years back.  I cried the whole way home, not wanting to leave those animals in cages for the night.

So what’s a dog lover to do?  Turn back into a cat lover.  I have had cats most of life too, and they are cool in their own way.  I took in Simon the Siamese Scaredy Cat a few months back, a “gift”  from my sister, complete with fleas.  Simon has really come around, and acts a lot like a dog.  He is big as some dogs, at 21 pounds.  He now has his own office chair at my desk, and sits next to me all day, napping while I work on the computer.  He likes it when I spin him around.  He trots after me wherever I go, unless he knows I am coming right back.  At night he sleeps curled up on his little round kitty bed on my bed, or under the covers on chilly nights.  He is very polite in his sleeping habits and does not take up too much room or present me with his rump in my face the way most cats do.  He will sleep in as long as I want, and doesn’t meow at me for kitty food or other silly things.  He loves a good belly rub, and loves to pat my face with his big soft paws.  He also comes right up to me and kisses me.  Its obvious the cat is smitten, lol.  He’s my boy.  A big, beautiful boy.

He’ll do.

A Total Eclipse of the Heart

At approximately 9 a.m. this morning, September 24, 2011, I lost my best friend of the past 12 years.  She went to join her baby sister who went to the Rainbow Bridge only 5 months ago, both victims of canine kidney failure. 

That was the very last piece of my heart that was unscarred.  Once again it has been ripped out of my chest and left ragged and bleeding.  I don’t know if it will ever heal again.  Too much damage has been done.  Too late for a heart transplant, or even life support.  All the air has been sucked out of my body, and there’s no blood left to pump through my veins. 

I am just an empty shell.

Another piece of heart is being torn out of my body

My Mollie was the cutest little pup.  I bought her on New’s Years Eve, 1999, for my ex.  I should have named her Millie, for the Millenium, but Mollie stuck.  She was so beloved by everyone, especially my 6 year old Golden Retriever Maggie.  I don’t think Mollie’s paws hit the ground the first few months.  She was either carried around by a human or Maggie. 

Mollie’s daddy left us when she was just a pup.  He was cheating on us with a woman with a Shitzu.  A Shitzu!  Can you imagine????  Luckily Mollie was young enough to readjust.  Maggie didn’t though.  Every night she laid by the stairs, waiting for her daddy to come home.  He never did.  She died of a broken heart shortly thereafter.  Her fur soaked up buckets of my tears, and she was my heart dog.  Her death, so quick after my divorce, left me with two gaping holes in my heart that kept pumping out blood.  I swore I would never get another dog.  Mollie was enough for me.

Mollie had to grow up quick after that.  She was the best dog.  Never chewed up anything, which was unusual for a lab!  She was a little alpha after Maggie died, and didn’t really care for other dogs, she was very protective of me.  But she was lonely during the day.  Lo and behold, the neighbors had some Golden Retriever pups.  The poor little runt was left behind.  So I took her home just for a quick visit with Mollie, and she never left.  She became our new Golden Angel, Maddie.

Mollie was NOT a mommy dog, like Maggie was with her.  To Mollie, Maddie was just another play toy, and boy was she rough with her!  But Maddie was a trooper, and followed Mollie everywhere.  The two were great sisters, and loved each other so much.  We had some good years.

Then poor little Maddie got sick.  Very sick.  Kidney failure.  And she was only 7.  Six months later, this April, she was gone.  Mollie and I cried and cried over the loss of our girl.  I said to Mollie, who was now almost 12, you better live forever, you have outlived two of my goldens!  She just licked my tears, once again.

My heart does not have much territory left unscathed.  Mollie started losing weight.  I knew this scenario…..it was all too familiar.  A trip to the vet confirmed my worst fears.  Mollie too now had kidney failure, to add to her list of old age problems.  No God, please, not Mollie, not now, not so soon after my little Maddie.  Please don’t take her.  I begged, I prayed, I cried.  Seemed to work for a little while.  A few weeks.

Now, this past week, she won’t eat.  She is having bowel problems.  I’m making her hamburger and rice, and she will eat some of that.  Nothing else seems to even tempt her.  She keeps going outside to try and poop, mostly unsuccessfully.  First she was constipated, then the diapoopsie.  Now something in between.  Not sure if all this is due to her kidney problem, or a new problem.  Whatever, it’s not good.

I will not let her suffer.  I will take her to the vet if her problem does not resolve quickly.  I don’t want her to linger.  It will be painful to her, and even more so to me. 

And that will take care of the rest of my heart.  It will be TOTALLY shredded then.