An Abbey Story

Some early readers may remember Abbey. All of my pets have been special in one way or another and I would hate to pick favorites but Abbey was pretty close to the top. She suffered liver failure shortly after I started this blog and slowly lost weight. At first the reduced weight actully made her more active. I was concerned that she had gone from fat to normal but she was eating and jumping on things that she stopped jumping on when she got heavy.


I should have been more concered but I’m not sure if it would have mattered. When we finally got the diagnosis she still seemed healthy. I did not want to take away any part of her life until it was clear that she was actually suffering. That happened in October of that year, 2012.

But this post is not about the sad times, I want to talk about one of the funnier episodes involving Abbey.

One day my wife and I were sitting on the sofa wile Abbey lied on my lap, which she did quite often. We were talking about something, which I don’t remember, but it must have been a hot topic because Rose had raised he voice almost to a yell. We were not arguing but it must have sounded that way to Abbey because she got off my lap and bit Rose in the arm. She didn’t bite her hard. It was more of a warning bite.

We quickly surmised that Abbey did not want Rose to yell at me. She was acting as my protector. As an experiment, Rose started yelling at me while wagging her finger. Abbey quickly got up and bit her again.

I must admit, it feels good to have someone looking out for me. It takes me back to my youth and my dog, Tascha. I remember my dad’s friend, Jack, was teasing Tascha by pretending to want to grab my arm. He would move his hand closer to me and Tascha would growl. He would back off and then do it again. By about the fourth time Tascha just bit him. Served him right for teasing a Doberman.

Slowly Improving

My wife works from home most days but sometimes she does what she calls a “site visit.” It is when she spends the day at one of her properties to make sure everything is being done correctly and to help out. She did a site visit at the property here in town the other day and asked me to drive her so I could have the truck if I needed to go anywhere.

While she was gone Frankie and Floki were enjoying the beautiful day on the catio while Chris was upstairs on the bed. I felt bad that he was missing out and since he has been having trouble going up and down the stairs I carried him down.

When Rose was ready to be picked up I didn’t want to leave with the cats out on the catio so I brought them in. When we got home Rose pointed out that Frankie was watching us from the window upstairs .

When we got inside we saw Frankie and Floki but no Chris. I went upstairs and found Chris on the perch looking out the window. So it was Chris and not Frankie up there.

I have still carried Chris up and down since then but he has also surprised me several times but going up and down on his own. My wife decided to watch one of her girly shows Friday evening so I left Chris on the sofa with Rose and came upstairs to write this post. A few minutes later Chris joined me on the bed.

I did receive the joint support Chews the other day but he was already improving before then. I did have my doubts about his problem being arthritis because of the suddenness of it and now I think maybe he injured his paw.

Of course it could be a little of both. With his old age and added weight jumping down could be hard on him. I don’t know. I’m just glad he is a little better.

Bad Cat Chris: King of the Lizard Hunters

Here is another Lizard Hunter episode for Throwback Thursday. This was from March of 2015.

Bad Cat Chris

Yesterday we broke with our new tradition of letting the cats outside on Sundays and let them out on Saturday. They all had a lot of fun running around, rolling in the dirt and chasing down lizards.

Frankie was good for the most part but, unlike last week, he ventured through the fence… twice. I didn’t worry about him though. I jut kept an eye on him and he came back before going too far. I did have to go through the gate and pick him up from the side of the property, both times, and bring him back to the back yard. He also used up a lot of energy and I saw him panting several times. I thought he was tired and would slow down, but I was wrong.

Last week both Chris and Puck caught a lizard but this week Chris was the only cat to bring…

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Ceaser and Samantha

My mother brought a couple of big boxes of photos with her when she visited recently and I have been slowly scanning many of them. Recently I came across pictures of our basset hound Ceaser.

Several months ago I bought a film scanner and scanned in this video of Ceaser.

We got Ceaser in 1966 when I was three years old. Here is my sister, Holly and me with him in July of ’67.

I then came across this photo from August of that year.

I assumed it was Ceaser until I looked closer.

After we had Ceaser for a while, we then got a female basset hound named Samatha. We didn’t have her for very long and I didn’t realize a photo even existed. To be honest, I had forgotten what she looked like.

At the time, both my parents worked in Chicago so we would leave early in the morning to go to my grandparents. By the time we returned home it was evening. One evening we returned home and found Ceaser sitting outside at the front door. Someone must have not closed the door all the way and the dogs got out. We looked for Samantha but never found her and she never returned. Hopefully some nice person found her and adopted her.

Almost three years later my parents had a house built in a growing area of what was called the far north suburbs. Not long after we moved in, the police were called because Ceaser was disturbing the peace with his howling (basset hounds are known for that). We were told that we would have to git rid of Ceaser. For some reason that I don’t remember, we were convinced that it was the neighbor across and one house over who had two german shepards that barked all the time. We tried to convince my parents to fight it but they ened up giving Ceaser to my grandparents. Ceaser lived with them for several more years before passing away. I believe I was in high school when that happened.

Looking throught these photos has brought back many good memories and some not-so-good.

The End of a Good Thing

My wife and I were on the catio yesterday evening with the cats who were out there much of the day. Frankie, in particular, always wants to be out there.

We talked about what Frankie was going to do after we return to Florida in just over two weeks to our house with no catio. It will surely feel like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.

Even here, Frankie has become quite the pain. As we were getting ready to go upstairs last night to go to bed, Frankie was at the door crying to go out. This morning at 6 a.m., after eating only half his breakfast, he was again at the door crying to go out.

All we can do is let them enjoy it while it lasts. I quess I will have to start taking Frankie for a walk again when we return.

Another Feline Visitor

The window by my desk overlooks our back yard. From time to time I will see a white cat walk through our yard. I think I saw the same cat in our yard last winter so we must be part of her territory. Yesterday, Frankie and Floki were on the catio and I went out there to check on them. When I did, I noticed their attention fixed on the white cat.

Nobody was howling or hissing or making a fuss. They were just looking at each other.

The last time this happened with another cat it was also a peaceful encounter. I speculated then that it must have been a female because another male would probably have elicited a different response. If I am right, this white cat is probably also a female. If anyone has a reason to confirm or reject my hypothesis, I would like to hear about it.

The Problems of Getting Old

Chris has been very reluctant to go up and down the stairs these last couple of weeks and I find myself having to carry him up and down so he can join the family. Occasionally, he will make the trip on his own, like he did Friday evening.

I was very happy to see him go up the stairs on his own but watching him made me worry even more. He seemed to be limping up the steps, although I don’t know exactly what limping up stairs looks like with a cat but I would guess that is what he was doing. He seemed to dip down further on the right which made me think he was having pain in his right front leg.

I decided to go on Amazon and look for something that might help. I found Joint Support Chews that have Glucosamine, Omega3, and other stuff. The link above is an affiliate link so you can see what I ordered but since I have not received it yet I can’t recommend it.

Yesterday afternoon I carried Chris downstairs so he could be with the rest of the family. I set him down at the foot of the stairs and tried to show him the door to the catio was open. I wanted to see him walk but he just sat there. After more prompting he walked toward me but I didn’t notice a limp this time.

He stopped in front of the empty food bowls and tried to send me a psychic message but I pretended not to notice.

Eventually he went outside and later came upstairs on his own when I wasn’t watching so I don’t know what to think now. I guess I will just keep an eye on him and hope the Chews help.

A Night With Chris – Caught On Video

My wife left for Virgina on Tuesday Morning for a work trip. I thought it would be a good time to set up my security camera so that you can better understand why we have been closing Chris out of the bedroom all these years. The camera only records when it detects movement. Even so, it recorded over 25 minutes of video. I was able to cut it down a little but it is still long. I should have quadrupled the speed during processing but I just now thought of that. I think after a few minutes you will get the idea.

There is a time stamp on the video so you can see what time it was for each disturbance. Chris was actually pretty good and didn’t start with his shenanigans until almost 1:00 a.m. It’s hard to see but he likes digging his claws into my skin which is what is most disturbing.