Cats · My Thoughts

International Cat Day Tomorrow!

Happy International Cat Day meme

Monday, August 8, is International Cat Day, a day the whole world celebrates our feline friends. While reading an email ad from GaelSong, I found this out, so I want to celebrate Jesse, my cat!

https://www.gaelsong.com

What is International Cat Day?

. . . a celebration which takes place on 8 August of every year. It was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. It is a day to raise awareness for cats and learn about ways to help and protect them.

In 2020 custodianship of International Cat Day passed to International Cat Care,[3] a not-for-profit British organization that has been striving to improve the health and welfare of domestic cats worldwide since 1958.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Cat_Day

Celebrate Cats Throughout the Year!

Guess what? Cat lovers celebrate their feline friends throughout the year, not just on International Cat Day. Check out the many days to celebrate:

Celebrate cats throughout the year, not just on International Cat Day!

https://petpress.net/cat-holidays/

Let Me Celebrate International Cat Day with Jesse, my cat!
Celebrating Jesse on International Cat Day

For the majority of my life, we had dogs! Growing up, we had outside dogs. Once, we had a yellow kitten, but I don’t remember what happened to him. When I divorced in 2008, I had been accustomed to having a dog around for about thirty or forty years. My ex-husband got our dog, and I faced life pet-less!

Then I adopted Jesse, a silver-tip Siamese and fell in love with him and cats. He was six years old when I got him and he’s nineteen now which is ninety-two in human years, labeled a “Super Senior” which is any age above fifteen.

https://icatcare.org/advice/how-to-tell-your-cats-age-in-human-years/

Jesse & Feline Diabetes

In April 2016, I realized Jesse had something seriously wrong with him. After taking him to his vet, I found out he had feline diabetes. At first, we tried to treat it with specialized cat food, but he needed more. So, he has been on insulin since August 2016 with increased dosage as needed.

At the beginning of 2022, I messed up and left his insulin out of the frig and continued giving it to Jesse. He got sick, vomiting repeatedly. After a couple vet visits, Jesse started doing better because one vet added a potassium gel daily.

Jesse’s vomiting continued, but Lin and I have finally come up with a system that seems to be working. We give him a small amount of food in the morning with the potassium gel then don’t give him anymore food until he’s eaten that. Jesse waits near his food thinking he can fool us into giving him more food, but we usually win. Lin says I’m a soft touch and give in. After he finishes the doctored food, we give him small portions. This seems to be working because recently he has gone a month without vomiting!

Jesse’s New Passion
Jesse drinking out of a low-level birdbath in Lin's garden! A favorite destination!
Jesse drinking from the low-level birdbath

He loves going outside to wandering through Lin’s garden on a similar route on every outing. So, when I get up, I take him outside in the beautiful morning with birds singing and that fresh morning smell. I follow him around as he goes to his favorite grasses, catmint and drinks from a low-level bird bath. I follow him because we have rattlesnakes up here in the east mountains above Albuquerque—he’d be an easy prey with his arthritic lame back leg. As we go, I pick weeds and enjoy the blessings of Lin’s gorgeous garden and Jesse’s meanderings.

Because of his age, Jesse finishes in about twenty minutes, so what a wonderful way to start the day! When winter comes, his waiting at the back door to go out will be futile and sad!

After researching extensively, I found out cats might live to twenty years old, so Lin and I wonder every day when we wake up, if this is the day. But so far, he is doing fine! Whining right now for more food—a good sign!

Finally,

Celebrate International Cat Day tomorrow with your favorite feline. Jesse and I will start the day outside enjoying nature in Lin’s garden. Then the food battle will continue but his screeching whine lets me know he still has a lot of life in him. If you don’t have a cat, go and adopt one.

Do you have a cat? If so, for how long? What’s your favorite rationale for having a cat?


~WATCH MY NEW INTERVIEW on Douglas Coleman’s Show dated August 5, 2022.

~MY FIRST AUDIOBOOK IS AVAILABLE: Go to Audible to buy my first audiobook, Let Me Tell You a Story. I’m working on Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? but have gotten stalled with shingles.

~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo meme

~Have you bought a copy of Flippo’s biography yet? Believe it or not—it’s been two years. Go here for your hardback or paperback: https://www.laradasbooks.com or at Amazon.

~For me, it’s Christmas all year long! Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”: https://youtu.be/mpJCUGffU3A

~Wish You Were Here: A Novel by Jodi Picoult, one of my favorite authors, deals with the COVID pandemic in fiction as opposed to my nonfiction book. Check it out! Interesting story!

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? meme

~What happened to you in 2020-2021 during the coronavirus pandemic? Do you care? Are you on a spiritual path? Do you want to heal from the horrible effects of the pandemic of 2020? Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: https://laradasbooks.com

Cats · My Thoughts

Jesse, My Geriatric Cat: How We Love Him!

Jesse, playing with my shoe

Jesse, my 19-year-old cat (92 years old in human years) has become an elderly cat, or according to cat websites, geriatric. I watch him and wonder about how much longer I will have him with me. I have learned to treat an older cat has many moving parts.

How old is your cat in people years? Jesse is 19 years old!

Now, every morning when we get up, Lin and I wonder if Jesse has survived the night. If he’s asleep somewhere, we check to see if he’s still breathing—both of us know the evitable is coming!

As a Siamese Silver Tip, http://www.petplace.com predicts Jesse could live to 20 years old—one more year. https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-health/average-life-expectancy-cats/#section5

That’s hard to think about!

I found out in April 2016; he had feline diabetes, so we tried to manage it with a special cat food. That worked until August 2017, but we had to start daily insulin shots because of his high glucose numbers. The outrageous cost of the insulin shocked me, but his veterinarian convinced me Jesse had to have it, and immediately his numbers decreased. Over the years, we’ve increased the shot to twice daily and to three units of insulin each time. It has been at that dosage for a couple of years.

Last year, Jesse’s veterinarian put him on Cosequin because he walked on his full hind legs, and it looked painful. Early in his diagnosis of feline diabetes, the vet thought the diabetes had caused a type of arthritis in his hind legs. What a difference that medication has made. In fact, Lin and I looked into taking it ourselves, but it’s expensive! After he takes it, Jesse immediately walks upright on his back paw.

So, Jesse had done really well for six years with the care I was giving him, but at the beginning of this year, his vomiting got out of control—eight times in a little over a week. Cats with feline diabetes have a problem with vomiting.

Jesse hates traveling now! He used to do really well and accompanied me to southeastern Colorado any time I went. When I took him to his vet in Albuquerque in November 2021, he vomited and had a bowel movement in his carrier on the way to the office, so what a mess we had when we arrived. Thank God for the assistant who cleaned him up and his carrier, but right then, I decided that was his last trip to town.

When Jesse saw the Albuquerque vet the last time, she asked me to monitor his food because he had gained too much weight—he was up to 18.4 pounds. We wanted him at 15—16. We both laughed about it because this weight gain came during the pandemic, like most people in the world. Before, I fed him whatever he would eat in a day—no measurement. So, I measured out 2/3 cups of food daily. Whine, whine, whine—meow, meow, meow! But I stuck to it, mostly.

So, I found a new veterinarian near us here in the east mountains. Again, he messed the carrier, but not as bad as the twenty-mile trip to Albuquerque. The new vet did a complete geriatric workup on him. He had a potassium deficiency, which she thought was causing the excessive vomiting, but his diabetes was under control. Whew! What I worry about is kidney failure because of the diabetes. So, the new vet prescribed a potassium gel to put on his food.

It worked well for a month or so, then he stopped eating the food with the gel on it. So, I tried spreading it around on his food, but the way I did it, the food clumped together, and he wouldn’t eat the clumps. I gave into his whining and meowing and gave him more of his allotted food for the day, just glad he was eating because he had stopped eating all together. The next morning, the clumps remained in his bowl. Frustrating for sure! And the vomiting started up again, so I worked harder at spreading the gel around and forcing him to eat the clumps. I was semi-successful.

Last week, I went to southeastern Colorado for ranch business, and Lin took care of Jesse. He came up with a fantastic system. First, he measures out about a third of the food into Jesse’s bowl in the morning. Next, he meticulously measures out a little more than ½ teaspoon of gel. Then he takes one piece of cat food and dips it into the gel. After that, he puts it in the bowl and spreads the gel around. He continues with individual pieces of cat food until the measured gel is gone.

A stand off between Jesse and Lin!
A stand off between Jesse and Lin!

Jesse rebelled at first, refusing to eat the food with the gel, but Lin outlasted his meow-fest. Each day, Lin would report to me with laughter about how upset Jesse was with this new system, but it has worked. When Jesse eats the treated food, then Lin gives him the rest of the food. He hasn’t vomited in eleven days!

So, now that I’m home, I’ve had to adhere to the plan and not cave in and give him more food when he refuses to eat the treated food. So far, so good!

Jesse has a loving spirit and looks forward to each night we watch TV. The pandemic spoiled him with us being home so much. He crawls up on the arm of my side of the loveseat, ready for the evening. After I sit down, he crawls into my lap and stays there for the rest of the evening—so satisfied.

Jesse assists me in my Quiet Time
Jesse assists me in my Quiet Time

In the morning, Jesse snuggles close to me during my Quiet Time reading and writing and sometimes tries to assist me!

In the morning, after his shot, he curls up in a favorite sunbeam somewhere nice and warm. During the last few winter months, Lin has kept a fire going in our wood-burning stove and Jesse sleeps either in front of it or beside it—the warmest place in the house.

Jesse investigates his toys!
Jesse investigates his toys!

Finally, a geriatric cat of 19 years is old, yet Jesse still likes to play with his toys and be with Lin and me. For now, we’ve figured out the moving parts, the system to take care of him. I love him dearly and look forward to more days, weeks and months with him—maybe years!

Do you have a cat? A geriatric cat? How do you deal with his treatment?


~NEW PODCAST to be released Thursday, March 17, 2022, discussing my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? : Live on Purpose Podcast at https://liveonpurposeradio.com/category/podcast/

~MY FIRST AUDIOBOOK IS AVAILABLE: Go to Audible to buy my first audiobook, Let Me Tell You a Story

~Do you listen to podcasts? Here are three podcasts with interviews about my new book & some Flippo stories:

Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo meme

~Buy a copy of Flippo’s biography on my website: https://www.laradasbooks.com or at Amazon.

~Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”: https://youtu.be/mpJCUGffU3A

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? meme

~Are you on a spiritual path? Do you want to heal from the horrible effects of the pandemic of 2020? Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: https://laradasbooks.com

Cats · My Thoughts

Do You Own a Pet?

My pet, Jesse with a Christmas bow
Last Christmas, Jesse with a bow!

The answer for me is a resounding “Yes.” I rescued a Siamese silver tip cat ten years ago, and his name is Jesse. At the time, I was going through a divorce from my third husband. We had a dog I loved, and the Ex got the dog, so I yearned for a pet.

Petless, I floundered. Friends said I needed to get a cat instead of a dog because I traveled a lot and they’re easier to leave. One afternoon, one of my colleagues who pushed this idea repeatedly, called me and said, “Where are you?”

“I’m leaving a training and will be back at the office in about thirty minutes.”

She proclaimed, “Your cat is here!”

When I got there, she ushered me out a side door outside, and I saw this compassionate lady’s work: she had food and water out. She lured the cat with treats out of the bushes, and I was smitten.

The night before I had left the office late after doing a teacher’s training, and as I closed my door, I heard that eerie Siamese cry. I stopped to see where it was coming from, but it stopped, so I went home. I guess it was this cat.

But wait a minute! As an adult, I had never owned a cat! I was a dog person! I have had dogs my whole adult life—a cat??

We admired this sad, scared animal. She urged me, “Take him home tonight!”

My immediate response, “No, way! I’ve got to think about it,” so I went home catless, and felines ran through my dreamed all night.

After my restless night, I succumbed the next day, and this enthusiastic cat lady helped me buy a litter-box, scoop and cat food, and home I went with my new companion. I named him, Jesse, a name I was almost given as a child.

After he settled down and l examined him, I realized he had recently been cared for and wasn’t a stray. I waited until Saturday and took him to VetCo to see if he was chipped. He was! The veterinarian called the chip place, got the owner’s name and called them, then they called me and relinquished ownership of him to me! Jesse was officially mine.

Over the years, Jesse has been an angel for sure. He has made me laugh. He used to like to do late night antics after the lights went out like throwing my shoes around the bedroom and walking all over me.

Since Lin and I married, he’s not allowed in the bedroom because Lin has cat allergies, so needless to say, Jesse doesn’t wake me up with those crazy cat behaviors, but he loves to meow first thing in the morning! Lin and Jesse have a meow fest to start the day!

At first, Jesse wasn’t a lap kitty which I preferred, but I had shoulder surgery in 2012, and his instinct told him I needed extra love and care, so now he takes up residence in my lap anytime I’m relaxing in front of the TV, and I love it. In fact, he’s such a habitual kitty, he parks himself on the arm of our loveseat in anticipation of TV time.

In 2015, Jesse was diagnosed with feline diabetes. He was so sick at the time. Normally he weighed around 20 pounds—fat cat, but he lost down to 13 pounds! At first, we changed his food to diabetic cat food and that helped some, but then the vet added insulin and now has increased the dosage to 3 units twice a day.

Jesse loves our Christmas tree and hides under it whenever he can. After I add gifts under there, he gingerly steps over the packages to get out of his hiding place.

As Lin and I prepared for future travel plans next year, I texted my pet sitter about watching him. She is so conscientious about Jesse’s care. She related her concern about me leaving him during the winter with the possibility of a snowstorm and her not able to get him his insulin shot! Wow! So, we’re coming up with contingency plans. What an awesome pet sitter for sure!

My pet, Jesse relaxing
Jesse Curled Up & Sleeping!

I love this 16-year-old senile fat cat! He’s gained up to over 16 pounds now, and we have managed his diabetes. He’s aging before my eyes, sleeps curled up in a favorite place and moves slower. He loves the sunshine and follows it wherever it is during the morning. In the morning, I make sure I’ve given him his shot before he trudges upstairs to the loft to find his beam of sunshine. Often in the evening, Jesse meows at me like “It’s time for my insulin.” I wonder–does he know?

He’s just precious! I’m a committed pet owner through and through!

What are your feelings about pets? Cats? Dogs?


NEW Christmas ChapbookA Colorado Country ChristmasFull color paperback chapbook or digital version. Visit my Etsy Shop, Larada’s Reading Loft to purchase: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaradasReadingLoft

~Whitey & Gladys Puerling were playful friends of Flippo’s who created a Fan Club. I thought it would be fun to recreate this group. Would you like to join the Marshall Flippo Fan Club Facebook page? Read interesting posts about Flippo’s life. https://www.facebook.com/groups/328325644382769/

~I HAVE OVER 200 PRE-ORDERS FOR THE MARSHALL FLIPPO BIOGRAPHY!  You, too, can pre-order this amazing story? You can select which paper format or e-book format you would like. Go here to order the version you want. Monthly SWAG Giveaways!  https://goo.gl/forms/4D4hwbHdme1fvJc42