All the bad posts, then tons of pictures.

On June of 2012, I herniated a disc in my back, which left me with a major limp, leg weakness, and numbness in my left leg. After months of physiotherapy, I got about 90% of the functionality back, and continued on with my life.

In mid-July of 2013 (about six weeks ago), my back started hurting a lot more. I kept on keeping on, but after a day of mild physical labour at the beginning of August, I ended up going to the ER twice in three days, an ambulance trip each time. The second time I got admitted for the day.

I’ve had an MRI, which shows that the herniated disc is essentially shattered, with a large piece compressing several spinal nerves. I’ve got a neurosurgeon appointment in six weeks, and will be having some variety of spinal surgery after that.

At present, I have an hour or two of standing or walking around, and less than 15 minutes of comfortable sitting. Most of my time, I’m laying on the couch. Thankfully, I can work from home so I’m not out of a job or anything else, but it’s a little boring.

Still, when this is done, I should be dramatically better, which makes me happy.

So, that’s the life update. Now onto pictures.

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

Pineapple — ??? to August 29th, 2013

Our little lovebird overlord is no longer with us. I went downstairs a few days ago to turn on their lights in the morning, and Pineapple was dead in the bottom of her cage.

We adopted her in early 2008, a scissor-beaked adult lovebird purchased from a pet store. I never expected her to have a record long life, but we enjoyed every minute that we had her. We fixed her scissor-beak with constant trimming and she developed into the most delightful creature. As cage territorial as it gets, she was the most delightful creature outside of her cage, would step onto anyone’s finger, and loved nothing more than going out of her cage to eat seeds.

I’ll never forget our cross country trip, where she spent the entire time in a small carrier, trying to eat our doberman for getting too close to our cage. She had bravery in spades.

We’ll miss her.

Posted in Parrots, Pineapple | 1 Comment

Cat play, dog play, play play.

Our household, particularly the trio of Orientals, deem that they should spend at minimum fourteen thousand hours a day playing with each other. The rest of the time should be spent attempting to fit in my lap, having love crisises that require immediate attention, and trying to steal the humans’ food. Occasionally, they sleep too.

A large number of these things have now been photographed.

This is my morning routine. Get up. Go downstairs. Attempt to check email and look at the computer around three cats.

I don’t generally have the camera there… but I do have Photo Booth.

This is an exceptionally large number of cats to fit in your lap and also use the internet.

Sleeping boys in a basket.

Jelly too.

Now onto play!

These two spent a solid 20 – 25 minutes racing around the house, sounding like a pair of elephants rather than two relatively small kittens.

Attack in the chair!

Back to the dog bed…

Macavity extends ALL his toes.

As does his relation, Jelly! (Her father is Macavity’s great-grandfather. :))

Nemo is, as far as I can see from pedigrees, not related to either of them.

They all have evil and entertainment though!

Speaking of entertaining… thanks to ongoing back issues, I’ve got a new computer setup in the living room.

Crow wanted to make sure it was acceptable for work purposes.

And he’s discovered the sort of things I say about him on the internet. Poodle Does Not Approve(tm).

Posted in Cats, Crow, Dogs, Jellylorum, Macavity, Nemo, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nearly a month of new cattens!

Okay, over a month in Nemo’s case. We ask a whole lot out of cats when they move, our household in particular. We use different cat litter than most other people (pelleted pine rather than clay), we don’t free feed our cats (though kittens are fed more frequently than the adult cats, obviously), and there’s three large gross other animals who live in the household that the cats have to deal with — plus the other cats. :)

And yet, time and time again, they manage. It’s funny to have two kittens at roughly the same time and to see the different reactions. Nemo was (and is) ridiculously friendly, leaps up on anyone who will stop for a moment, but he’s a little more picky of an eater and he’s definitely not as in love with the dogs.

Macavity was shyer than I’d like when he came home, hid a lot, and required a little more effort to get free access to the house. However, once he got over that (and we’ve been doing massive work on socialization since), he is SO bold with the dogs, absolutely loves them, eats anything not nailed down, and is more thoughtful than Nemo is — watching the world for a few minutes before leaping in, where Nemo is absolutely stupidly bold about things.

They are so much fun to have together. :) We had a little bit of a scare with Nemo this past week, he came down with a small cough at the same time that he was losing his molars, and he decided to stop eating. We’ve syringe fed him for a few days, and now he’s finally back to eating on his own. Our vets are wonderful.

You’re here for pictures, though, right? These span weeks, so you’ll get to see how big Macavity’s getting.

This is my shrimp.

Seriously, is this not the worst picture ever?

Pair of kittens in basket!

Same cats, different basket.

Seriously unconcerned about dogs.

He’s very, very bad at looking at the camera. However, he’s got a beautiful profile.

And look, the Hater has decided she can join the other cats. :)

And look how much he’s growing.

So, last night, we had a two hour power outage. Since there wasn’t anything else to do, we took the cats out back and took some pictures.

A few notes — our backyard is small, but has a 6+ foot privacy fence and no easy way out for a small cat. Nemo had someone near him at all times, and wasn’t going to run off (particularly due to the quantity of bugs he could chase). Macavity was wearing his harness because he finds the outside a little scary, and I wanted more control over him. :) He got over the outside quickly, which is excellent.

I think Jessica will be very happy with how he’s turning out.

They’re both getting so big.

Shame he REFUSES to look at the camera.

Evil bug stalker.

BUGS.

Crouched down and wiggling to attach Nemo.

Pretty little kitten.

BUGS.

Almost a full face. We’ll clearly have to work on this. :)

And there’s your cat updates for now! :)

Posted in Cats, Jellylorum, Macavity, Nemo | Leave a comment

Macavity’s here too.

I took Friday off work, and drove over to the home of Cats on the Hill and Siam Jewels, where we chatted and interacted and eventually stole away with a tiny fawn kitten.

He was a little scared the first night home, and a little overwhelmed by all the newness. He cried a lot, and was kind of unhappy. However, we set him up in a smaller room after the first night, in one of our spare bathrooms, and he’s rapidly settling in while we get to know him better. He’s had supervised access to the downstairs, and today, he got to meet some of the other cats.

Gypsy, our ancient calico, sniffed him, said ‘Hi new cat’ and went on her way. Nemo, the kitten, hissed at him a few times, and then promptly began full blown insane levels of playing. The two of them, two hours later, have already cuddled up with me on the couch together and were ‘assisting’ with the previous post, mostly by blocking my access to the laptop and also chewing on my arm.

Jelly, to no one’s surprise, had a literal hissy fit, and got herself locked in the cat room for her pleasure. She’ll be fine in a couple of days with smaller doses of kitten, and will be playing too in a few days.

But now, you have what you want — DUAL KITTEN PICTURES.

This is not a good look for a beautiful show cat.

Tend to my needs, minion!

Then, we released the other cats. :)

Oh hi Nemo!

I attempted to get Macavity to come play with the toy, but it was a little overwhelming.

Nemo liked it though.

Nemo likes ALL the toys.

He also leaps.

He leaps a LOT.

Then the boys started playing together, but it was really challenging to photograph since Macavity is super fast. So you get a paused shot.

About to leap to get Nemo.

I like this big cat.

Meanwhile, Gypsy does ancient cat sprawled on dining room table.

And after play, comes sleep in his person’s arms.

And then sleep on the couch.

He’s still passed out next to me. It’s hard to be a kitten!

Posted in Cats, Gypsy, Macavity, Nemo | 1 Comment

All kittens, all the time!

I am literally drowning in photographs. So much so that this will probably be two posts, because there’s THAT MANY KITTEN PICTURES.

Let’s start with a Nemo update. Nemo is awesome. Nemo is awesome with a side of awesome and awesomesauce.

He’s so bold, so loving, so smart, so wonderful. His purr is loud enough to hear across the room, and he’s already fine with all the cats and dogs in the house. Jelly, aka The Hater, was certain he was a monster of epic variety for about five days, and then she got over herself, and last night we all cuddled on the couch together. They play but they’re not yet at the ‘let us snuggle together’ phase.

Nemo is also really, really good with the dogs. He ranges from ‘I kind of like them’ to ‘They’re sort of obnoxious’, but he’s more or less completely unafraid. It’s very nice to find in a cat who was not raised with dogs.

He’s also kind of playful. You’ll see. :)

Let us embark on the photographic journey of Nemo’s first weeks home.

Playing with the lunge whip with Jelly.

I like this black thing.

The rug is nice too.

Noire looks so perplexed, poor dog.

Nemo LOVES to play. Loves.

Cat yoga, with stuffed snake.

It’s also great fun to throw around.

And now, we end this post, to begin another one. :)

Posted in Cats, Jellylorum, Nemo | Leave a comment

Meet Nemo.

After conversing with Skimble’s breeder after his death, we took a look at their webpage… and saw this.

Nemo is a five month old cream mackerel tabby born from Skimble’s half-brother (who is a drop dead gorgeous cat, just over a year old, and already a Master Grand Champion. Interestingly enough, we met Nemo’s father when he was a tiny kitten living in the bathroom. :)

He was the only one left from a litter of eight. We spoke with his breeder, and decided to drag ourselves out to a cat show to meet him. We also got to see Jessica and pet her kittens and hear some Macavity stories, which is awesome. Cat shows are great fun, and I’m really hoping to start attending some more.

Anyone surprised that he came home with us? No? Yeah, me neither. His breeders named him Nemo, and we’re going to keep that name.

Yes, we’re upgrading to two kittens in a two weeks. I’m beside myself with joy.

He’s been home a week, and he’s awesome. He’s extremely sweet, extremely active, and EXTREMELY BOLD. He met the dogs for the first time, and sat under the chair, growling with displeasure while the dogs ate, and then tried to bite Charlotte on the paw. Now, he just ignores them with extreme disdain, as is appropriate.

He’s already doing well with most of the cats, though he’s still not playing with Jelly yet — but the two of them are doing much better together, which is a good start.

But you’re here for pictures, so that’s what you’ll get. :)

He’s REALLY athletic.

And very cute.

Watching Jelly play.

You’d look like that if you saw this too.

Jelly is an intense huntress.

Enjoying cat baskets as is appropriate.

So, so beautiful.

So is someone else. Okay, he’s not a cat, but he’s wonderful. He got matching IV haircuts and pompoms, because those are the people we are. He’s at two weeks post bloat, exercise restrictions have lifted, and he’s doing wonderfully. I am so, so grateful that he’s still here.

Even with funny haircuts.

Back to kittens! This kitten’s going to be a challenge once it’s bird introduction time — he is a big hunter, as you can see.

It didn’t take him long to learn about baskets either — and Gypsy loves kittens.

And, oh, wait, what’s this? A tiny screaming kitten that comes home on Friday?

Indeed. Hi Macavity!

He says hi back.

That’s all the pictures for Right This Moment. There will be more. Brace yourselves.

Posted in Crow, Dogs, Gypsy, Introductions, Jellylorum, Macavity, Nemo | Leave a comment

A happy update for once.

Which is good, because this place has been depressing of late.

First, the update that I know people care about, without pictures, alas.

Crow is doing exceptionally well. He’s acting like himself, eating well (although he thinks the special low fat canned food from the vet is nasty, which I can’t entirely disagree with), happy, not in pain, and in general is just my poodle again, save with a really sexy scar that he can show off to the ladies.

The main issue at this point is keeping him calm for another few days, and keeping him from licking. If he had his way, it’d be 100% rodeo with intermittent slurping his incision breaks. But we’re avoiding that. :)

In other news, while my life was crashing down around my shoulders, summer came. Summer, in our household, is marked by one event: the first rose bloom.

This year, the winner of the rose blooming race was a Blanc Double de Coubert rugosa rose, which smells like heaven. I spent several days sniffing it.

It bloomed on June 1st.

I’ll snap some more garden pictures after we mow the lawn today — we’ve got three cultivars blooming in the front yard (the Blanc de Couberts, Linda Campbell, and Morden Snowbeauty), and two more that are going to bloom today or tomorrow (Morden Sunrise and Rosa alba maxima), plus several more threatening.

Also, another sure sign of summer is this one…

Hi all, meet the world’s crankiest baby parrot.

Yeah, he’s molting for the first time. You can see he’s got a few bright white feathers coming in in his ruff, which is really funny. He also looks a little like a cat ate him and spit him out, and that’s after a bath.

He varies his time between ‘please scratch my head’ and trying to bite me for scratching his head.

Fun times.

But he’s still cute, as you can see:

Jun 8, 2013 | A beautiful headpiece. by stejacks on Keek.com

That’s all for now. More pictures will be occurring soon.

We’re t-2 weeks to Macavity.

Posted in Artichoke, Crow, Dogs, Parrots, The Garden | Leave a comment

When it rains, it pours.

I was clearly a very, very bad person in a previous life. That is the only way to explain the past 30 days. First Gus, then Skimble, now this.

We came remarkably close to never being able to post this sort of picture again.

Last night, as usual, we fed the dogs around midnight, and then I went to bed. At 1:15, Crow woke me up by moving around restlessly. He does that sometimes, so I opened an eye, rolled over, and tried to go back to sleep. A minute later, he started unproductively retching.

His abdomen was visibly swollen, and he kept trying to vomit unsuccessfully.

Five minutes after that, I had called the ER vet to warn them we were on their way, and sped off going 2x the speed limit.

Less than 45 minutes after he started bloating, Crow was in surgery.

The speed saved his life. His stomach was bruised, but the tissue wasn’t dying yet. He was out of surgery by 3:30 am, and spent the day at our regular vet’s office with fluids, antibiotics, and heart monitoring.

Now, he’s at home, passed out on the couch, stoned out of his mind on pain killers, as you can clearly see.

There’s some really important lessons in here for every dog owner.

Bloat, or GDV is a life threatening condition where gas cannot escape a dog’s stomach, and the stomach (and generally the spleen as well) twists on itself and cuts off blood circulation.

The most important symptom is a dog who is trying to vomit and cannot. Deep chested breeds are more susceptible, as are somewhat older dogs.

TIME IS VITAL. Minutes make a HUGE difference. Every second that the tissue is without blood is exceedingly harmful.

Calling ahead means that when you show up, they’re ready for you. We walked through the door, they grabbed the dog and was doing an x-ray after shouting a quick estimate over their shoulder.

It’s survivable, with surgery, and speed. Crow will be fine.

But man, I could use a break. I like our vets, but I’m tired of seeing them.

Posted in Crow, Dogs | 2 Comments

Enter Macavity.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square–
But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s.
And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair–
Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

We’ve stayed good friends with Jelly’s breeder since she came home (waves hi at Jessica), and I’ve happily stalked her webpage and facebook pages and looked at all the ridiculously cute kittens that she’s had throughout time.

On April 29th, 2013, I saw this picture on Jelly’s breeder’s facebook page.

I saw that picture, and upon seeing it, a single word came to mind: Macavity.

I shared the picture, and all of a sudden, we had reserved a four week old solid fawn male oriental kitten.

Last weekend, we went to meet him. He’s about eight weeks old now.

And he’s perfect. He’s astonishingly, wonderfully perfect.

I love bold, fearless animals, and he fits the bill more than you could imagine. He’s just at the age where he’s learning to play with toys, and we were playing with a long toy with ribbons on it and a stick on the end. He went from worried about it to playing with it to dragging around a toy behind him, attacking it, and ignoring the fact that it made clattering noises.

He figured out how to climb the sides of the exercise pen and was determined to get out.

He’s exceptionally vocal and has a LOT to say.

And at the end of our *cough* several hours of visiting, I picked him up, and he climbed into my lap, took a look around, and laid down with the most regal, arrogant air, taking possession of my lap in a way that absolutely took my breath away, particularly from a tiny handful of cat.

He’s perfect. He comes home in a few weeks. He may have a job outside of being a pet, thanks to his colour, structure, and genetics, which is a lot of fun for us, since we don’t have to do any work. :)

So, internets, meet our new friend, Siam Jewels Macavity:

There’s been so much death of late. It’s nice that there’s a little life, and that we don’t have to worry about finding Jelly a new friend (since right now, it’s kitten and geriatrics in our house).

And he’s perfect.

Posted in Cats, Macavity | 2 Comments