I want to thank everyone who expressed concern for our safety during Hurricane Ian. Just like Hurricane Charley in 2004, this was a category 4 hurricane that was predicted to hit the Tampa Bay area but changed course and hit Southwest Florida. This storm was far bigger in size, though, than Charlie. one graphic I saw put Charlie inside the eye of Ian.
The storm is so big that it is still quite windy here almost 22 hours after the storm made landfall. It is looking like the damage caused by this storm could be among the worst in history. I have not heard of any loss of life and I hope that is the case. I also hope the people impacted can get back to normal life as quickly as possible.
Here we had little damage in our area. The power is out at my work so I am home today. I saw the governor say that 150,000 are without power in my county, Pinellas. I don’t know if that is people or homes. It is a drop in the bucket compared to Southwest Florida. I joke that I have been dodging bullets for 34 years but this area has been spared for much longer than that.
I mentioned before about the Indian legend that says there is something here that repels hurricanes. The last time a hurricane made landfall in our county was in 1921. That one hit Tarpon Springs at the far northwest corner. None have ever hit, as far as I know, the peninsula part of the county where I live.
I went outside this morning to see if there was any damage and found only fallen tree branches.
Our cats made it through the storm well Nobody was nervous the entire time.
It is just after 11:15 a.m. as I write this. So far it looks like we have been spared the worst of the storm. As of now, the prediction is that it will make landfall about 80 miles from us in Southwest Florida, near the Punta Gorda area, where our friends from Playful Kitty just moved to. I hope they will be safe there.
It has been raining all morning and the winds have picked up over the last hour or so. I expect it to get much worse but I don’t expect it to be bad enough to cause much damage to the house, as long as one of the big trees behind us doesn’t come down. If it continues on its path, we will still get hit hard because it is traveling in a northern direction, but the center of the storm should pass us to the east.
Right now Chris is sleeping on the bed and Floki and Frankie are relaxing in the Florida room.
At least they were relaxing until a squirrel decided to pay us a visit.
I took the window bird feeder down several weeks ago but kept the ground feeder so we still get frequent visits from squirrels.
My wife feels bad that she is stuck out of town and can’t be with me. She just called and wanted to make sure I was locked in the bedroom with the cats. She might be a little overprotective. I told her that it was a hurricane, not a tornado, and I would have plenty of warning before I needed to make a commitment like that. For now, I will just enjoy a day off from work and wait and see what happens.
My wife has tickets to go to a trade show in Hollywood, Florida. She planned on driving down there on Tuesday but the threat of Hurricane Ian made her decide to leave a day early so she could get there before the storm made driving difficult. Of course, our cats are always there to help pack.
As she packed last night, the forecast showed what they call the spaghetti model. It was about a dozen different paths, all ending in the Florida Panhandle. We thought the chance of it hitting here was pretty low. We also know that history has shown that our county, Pinellas, never gets hit by a hurricane. Of course, there is always a first time.
You may remember us evacuating before Hurricane Irma. You can read about that here and here. For that storm, we booked an Airbnb in St. Petersburg and then left there for my sister-in-law’s when the forecast shifted the storm’s path directly to where we were staying. In the end, the storm hit farther south and moved east of us. We could have stayed home because we had almost no damage.
I did not watch the weather this morning because I overslept and was rushing to help my wife pack her car and get to work. I also did not watch it while I was at work. On the way home I got an emergency alert which I did not look at because I was driving. My wife saw it, though, and called me and said we were under a mandatory evacuation. I was surprised given the fact that the storm was headed to the Panhandle. I figured since we live in a mobile home they were being annoyingly cautious.
When I got home I checked the weather and the path had shifted east. Now it was projected to hit northern Pinellas County as a possible category three hurricane, about fifteen miles from where I live. Of course, there is that cone of uncertainty that could bring it closer, or farther, but either way, it is a big storm so there is little chance of escaping it now.
We probably should have booked a hotel or another Airbnb but all the models showed it going west so we waited too long. Now the only rooms available are the ones on the beach. Rose’s sister offered her condo for us to use but her condo building is on the water. It might be built strong enough to stand up to a hurricane but the parking lot is under the building so my car would surely be underwater.
As of now I will just be staying here and hoping for the best. The last thing I want to do is try to carry three cats, one of whom is twenty pounds, to an emergency shelter by myself. I will close off the Florida room and bring their food and litter boxes into the bedroom. If it gets really bad I will shut us all in the bedroom. I also have ther carriers in the house, just in case, and will look for their collars. I want them to have collars in case we get separated. My only worry now is someone will come to my house and make us leave.
A couple of months ago, my mother-in-law’s beloved cat, Finnegan, died at a fairly young age. I wrote about his adoption three years ago here. Recently, a stray cat started coming to her door. I think the word has gotten out amongst the homeless cat community that her house is the place to go.
This new cat was very friendly and must have had a home at one time because he had worn-out nail covers, but he was not neutered.
I don’t know how long he was coming around. I assume long enough to know he was separated from his original family. So my mother-in-law decided to bring him in and make him an inside cat.
We were there visiting Sunday morning and the cat was happy getting attention from all of us. She had an appointment to get him fixed this week and the only thing left is to name him. Someone suggested Zorro and she liked that name but I don’t know if she officially decided yet.
I took Frankie for a walk on Saturday and we stayed relatively close to home this time. Frankie spent a lot of time doing things other than walking.
After hanging out by the pool area we spent some time relaxing at the picnic area. By that I mean napping.
Eventually we made our way back home but when I opened the door Frankie didn’t want to go inside so I had to pick him up and put him in the house. When I did that, Chris was at the door waiting to go out but we needed to leave for a wedding, so Chris didn’t get his turn. I felt really bad about that.
Puck has always been more timid than Chris or Frankie. Actually, every cat is more timid than Chris but what I am trying to say is that Puck can be a bit of a scardy-cat. He is not as timid as Flash, the brother of Tigger who passed a few months after we adopted Chris, but he does tend to run away from strangers while Chris, and sometimes Frankie, will go towards them.
My stepson, Nick, came to visit for a week over the Christmas holiday and Puck refused to come out of our bedroom while he was in the house. We had to put a litter box in our room along with food and water because we were worried he would not eat or drink or that he would do his business on our bedroom floor.
Unfortunately, Rose has a nose like a bloodhound and refused to sleep with the…
My wife called me at work yesterday and said Floki was behaving strangely when he ate so we decided it was best to call the vet right away since the weekend was coming up. She got him an appointment for 11 a.m. this morning.
I noticed when I got home yesterday that he did seem a little off when he ate, like he was having trouble swallowing or something but then, on the next bite, he seemed fine. Nevertheless, we wanted to make sure he was okay.
So, amazingly, we were able to get him in his carrier and I brought him to the vet. I didn’t get any useful photos but here is one from another trip to the vet.
The vet checked him out pretty thoroughly and found nothing serious wrong with him. He did say he had slight gingivitis but not enough to cause problems. He also said he had wax build up in his ears and suggested we clean them. I laughed at that because Floki is a Cat 5 tornado when we try to do anything that he doesn’t want done. That is why I asked them to clip his nails while he was there.
When I checked out it was raining pretty hard outside. I usually wear moccasins that are comfortable but are slippery when wet. I didn’t think about that since it wasn’t raining when we left the house.
So I went out the door in the pouring rain and walked quickly to my car. As soon as I stepped on the asphalt I slipped and fell forward. If Floki wasn’t with me it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal but Floki’s soft carrier hit the ground and I was about to land on top of him. I twisted my body to the left to keep from crushing Floki but hit my elbow hard on the pavement. I also got very wet because I ended up laying on the flooded pavement. Fortunately, I only hit Floki with a glancing blow so at least he is okay.